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By arrangement with the publishers, a Large 
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Editor's Series of " Select Early English Poems " 
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GLOSSARY ....... 175 




to face title-page 

FACSIMILE, 11. 1-29 2 

ILLUSTRATION, 11. 57-64 6 

11. 101-108 16 

11. 193-228 . 18 

FACSIMILE, 11. 829-837 . 72 

ILLUSTRATION, 11. 961-972 . . 82 


MY edition of * Pearl' in 1891 was my first contribution to 
Middle English studies, and my interest in the poem has 
remained unabated all these years, during which I have 
endeavoured to understand it aright and to unravel many 
a problem. Many requests have reached me from far and wide 
to re-issue the book, now long out of print, but I resisted 
these appeals until I could feel satisfied in respect of all 
the outstanding difficulties of the poem. I trust that those 
who are qualified to judge will recognise that the present 
new edition makes good its claim. As in the issue of 1891, 
so in the present edition, an unrhymed rendering into modern 
English faces the Middle English text. A translation which 
aims at interpreting the original is to my mind the best 
form of commentary ; at all events it clearly indicates the 
editor's decision, good or bad, on difficult passages. At the 
same time, for those who are not deeply interested in Middle 
English, it may serve as an adequate introduction to the 
poem, not the less effective for avoiding the perversions and 
obscurities that too often mar the attempts to maintain the 
highly complicated rhyming system of the original. It will, 
I think, be admitted that, both as regards text and inter 
pretation, a new edition of c Pearl ' is much needed. 

I am proud to know that my early enthusiasm for the 
poem, still maintained, has been effective in stimulating so 
much interest in ' Pearl,' far beyond the limited circle of 
students of Middle English, and has gained for it, through 



its intrinsic worth, a foremost place among the choicest 
treasures of medieval literature. 

I feel sure that, whatever may be the views of students as 
to the relationship of 'Pearl' and Boccaccio's Eclogue, 
f Olympia,' they will be grateful to me for adding, as a com 
plement to ' Pearl,' the original text of the Latin poem, 
together with my rendering into English. 

In 1891 it was my privilege to express my grateful acknow 
ledgment to three great men who have since passed away : 
to Professor Skeat, my beloved master, for valued help ; to 
Holman Hunt, for having given 'Pearl' a noble place in 
English art by his drawing of the frontispiece for my edition 
of the poem ; to Alfred Tennyson for having graced with 
the most coveted of distinctions my efforts to re-set this 
Pearl * in Britain's lyric coronet.' 

In recognition of cordial help in those now far-off days, it 
is a pleasure to refer to the fourth name then mentioned, that 
of Dr. Henry Bradley, happily still with us. 

I. G. 

July 13, 1921. 


Of the West Cuntre it semeth that he was, 
Bi his maner of spec he and bi his style? 

Pearl ' in the Lineage of English Poetry. While Chaucer 
was still learning from Guillaume de Machault and his 
followers the cult of the Marguerite, flower of flowers, as 
symbol of womanhood, a contemporary English poet had 
already found inspiration in the more spiritual associations 
of the Marguerite as the Pearl of Price. 

It is indeed rather with the Prologue of ' The Legend of 
Good Women' than with Chaucer's earlier effort of 'The 
Book of the Duchess ' that the poem of * Pearl ' may best 
be contrasted, though Chaucer's Lament for Blanche the 
Duchess, as an elegy, invites comparison with 'Pearl' as 
elegy. From this point of view, Chaucer's Lament seems 
somewhat unreal and conventional ; our poem exercises 
its spell, not merely by its artistic beauty, but even more 
by its simple and direct appeal to what is eternal and 
elemental in human nature. 

Again, its artistic form indicates the peculiar position that 
this early ' In Memoriam ' holds in the progress of English 
poetry. It represents the compromise between the two 
schools of poetry that co-existed during the latter half of 
the fourteenth century, the period with which Chaucer is 
especially identified as its greatest and noblest product. 



On the one hand, there were the poets of the East Midland 
district, with the Court as its literary centre, who sought 
their first inspiration in the literature of France. Chaucer 
and his devotees were the representatives of this group, for 
whom earlier English poetry meant nothing, and whose 
debt to it was indeed small. These poets preluded 'the 
spacious times of great Elizabeth ' ; they were the forward 
link in our literary history. But there were also poets 
suggesting the backward link, whose literary ancestors may 
be found before the Conquest, poets belonging to districts 
of England where the old English spirit lived on from early 
times and was predominant, notwithstanding other in 
fluences. This school had its home in the West along 
the line of the Welsh Marches, in Lancashire, Westmorland 
and Cumberland, well-nigh to the Tweed ; and it is clear 
that in these regions not only did the old English spirit 
survive after the days of the Conquest, but also the old 
English alliterative measure was at no time wholly forgotten, 
until at last Langland and a band of other poets, whose 
names have not come down to us, revived this verse as an 
instrument of literary expression. In these West Midland 
poets, kinship in feeling with the older English tradition 
predominated, even as the Norman in the East Midland 
poets. It was not merely a matter of vocabulary and versifi 
cation, though indeed Chaucer could not have appreciated 
Langland's poetry at its proper worth ' right for strangness 
of his dark langage,' to use the actual words of an East 
Midland poet concerning another, whose ' manner of speech 
and style' pronounced him 'of the West country.' 1 Lang- 

1 The poet in question was Capgrave ; see Prologue to the ' Life 
of St. Katherine,' printed in Capgrave's 'Chronicle,' edited by Sir 
E. Maunde Thompson, Rolls Series. 


land, on the other hand, with his intensely didactic purpose, 
would have had but scant sympathy with the light-hearted 
and genial spirit of his greater contemporary. 

But it would seem that there arose a third class of poets 
during this period, whose endeavour was to harmonise 
these diverse elements of Old and New, to blend the archaic 
Teutonic rhythm with the measures of Romance song. We 
see this already in the extant remains of lyrical poetry, 
especially in a number of those preserved in MS. Harl. 2253, 
dating from some years before the middle of the fourteenth 
century. The later political ballads of Minot and other 
fourteenth-century poems point also in this direction. But 
I can name no sustained piece of literature at all comparable 
with ' Pearl' as an instance of success in reconciling elements 
seemingly so irreconcilable. The poet of 'Pearl' holds, as 
it were, one hand towards Langland and one towards 
Chaucer ; as poet of ' Sir Gawain and the Green Knight/ 
he was the direct precursor of the poet of the ' Faerie 
Queene,' and helps us to understand the true significance 
of Spenser as the Elizabethan poet par excellence. * Pearl ' 
stands on the very threshold of modern English poetry. 

The Manuscript. A kindly fate has preserved this poem 
from oblivion ; a fate that has saved for us so much from 
the wreckage of time. Indeed, the Old English Muse must 
have borne a charmed life, surviving the many ills that 
ancient books were heirs to. Our knowledge of early 
English literature seems almost miraculous, when we note 
that so many extant works are preserved to us in unique 
MSS. ' Cotton Nero A. x.,' in the British Museum, is 
one of these priceless treasures. Bound up with a dull 
'panegyrical oration' on a certain John Ched worth, Arch 
deacon of Lincoln in the fifteenth century, four English 


poems are contained in this small quarto volume, each of 
high intrinsic worth, and of special interest to the student 
of our early literature. The handwriting of the poems, 
' small, sharp, and irregular,' belongs on the best authority 
to the latter years of the fourteenth century or the early 
fifteenth. There are neither titles nor rubrics in the MS.; 
but the chief divisions are marked by large initial letters of 
blue, flourished with red, and several illuminations, coarsely 
executed, serve by way of illustration, all but one occupying 
a full page. The difficulty of the language of these poems 
and the strangeness of the script are no doubt answerable 
for the treatment they received at the hands of the old cata 
loguers of the Cottonian collection ; probably few modern 
scholars before Warton, Conybeare, and Madden knew 
more of the poems than the first page of the MS., and from 
this they hastily inferred that the whole was a continuous 
poem ' in Old English, on religious and moral subjects,' or, 
'Vetus poema Anglicanum, in quo sub insomnii figmento 
multa ad religionem et mores spectantia explicantur.' An 
old librarian, who attempted a transcription of the first four 
lines, produced the following result : 

1 Perle pleasaunte to prynces paye 
To claulx clos in gode soeter, 
Oute se wyent I hardely saye 
Ne proved I never her precios pere.' 

We now know that the MS. came to Sir Robert Cotton 
from the library of Henry Savile, of Banke in Yorkshire 
(1568-1617), a great collector, who secured rich spoils from 
the Northern monasteries and abbeys. 1 To Madden 
belongs, it would seem, the credit of having shown for the 

1 See Preface to ' Patience, ' ed. Sir I . Gollancz, ( Select Early 
English Poems.' 


first time that these earlier describers of the MS. 
had confused four distinct poems, 1 and since his days 
the poems have received increased, though by no 
means adequate, attention from all students of our 

The Vision and the Allegory. The first of the four poems, 
' Pearl, 3 tells of a father's grief for a lost child, and how he 
was comforted, and learnt the lesson of resignation. 

This briefly is the theme of the poem of 'Pearl.' A 
fourteenth-century poet, casting about for the form best 
suited for such a theme, had two sources of inspiration. On 
the one hand, there was that great storehouse of 'dream 
pictures,' 'The Romaunt of the Rose'; on the other, the 
symbolic pages of Scripture. A poet of the Chaucer school 
would have chosen the former, and the lost 'Marguerite' 
would have suggested an allegory of the ' flour that bereth 
our alder pris in figurynge,' and in his vision the ' Marguerite ' 
would have been transfigured as the type of truest woman 
hood, a maiden in the train of Love's Queen, Alcestis. But 
the cult of the ' daisy ' seems to have been altogether un 
known to our poet, or at least to have had no attraction for 
him ; his lost ' Marguerite,' a beloved child, was for him a 
lost jewel, a pearl, and ' he bethought him on the man that 
sought the precious Margarites, and when he had founden 
one to his liking, he solde all his good to buy that Jewell.' / 
The basis of the ' Vision ' is this verse of the Gospel, together - 
with the closing chapters of the Apocalypse. Mary, the 
Queen of Heaven, not Alcestis, Queen of Love, reigns in the 
visionary Paradise that the poet pictures forth. 

The Pearl of the Gospel was a favourite allegorical theme 

1 For a general description of the MS., see 'Syr Gawayne,' ed. 
Sir F. Madden, 1839. 


with medieval theologians, but rarely with the poets. 1 I 
know of but one piece of English literature other than this 
poem in which it figures strikingly; it is poetical in thought 
though written in prose, and belongs to a later date than 
our poem. I allude to the * Testament of Love,' a rather 
crude composition, the history of which we know now in 
relation to the life of its author, Thomas Usk, who was a 
contemporary and clearly a disciple of Chaucer. 2 It is 
an obvious imitation of the 'Consolation of Philosophy' of 
Boethius ; but in allegorising the Grace of God by 'a precious 
Margaret ' ' Margarete of virtue,' for whose love he pines 
the author may perhaps have been influenced by the poem 
of ' Pearl.' Under any circumstances, the poem gives the 
prose work some interest ; the 'Testament' shows how our 
poet has avoided the danger of being over mystical in the 
treatment of his subject. Where the poem is simple and 
direct, the prose is everywhere abstruse and vague, and Usk 
is forced to close his^ book with a necessary explanation of 
his allegory : 

' Right so a jewel betokeneth a gemme, and that is a stoon 
vertuous or els a perle, Margarite, a woman, betokeneth 
grace, lerning, or wisdom of God, or els Holy Church. If 
breed, thorow vertue, is mad holy flesshe, 'what is that our 
God sayth? It is the spirit that yeveth lyf ; the flesshe, of 
nothing it profiteth. Flesshe is flesshly understandinge ; 
flessh without grace and love naught is worth. The letter 

1 In the really fine poem called ' A Luue Run,' by Thomas de 
Hales (O. E. Miscellany, E.E.T.S., 1882), the precious gem-stone, 
maidenhood, more precious than any earthly gem, is dealt with 
most suggestively. It is set 'in Heaven's gold/ and shines bright 
in Heaven's bower, but is not specified as the pearl (cp. Note on 


2 See supplement to Works of Chaucer,' ed. Skeat, Vol. VII. 


sleeth ; the spirit yeveth lyfelich understanding. Charite is 
love, and love is charite. 

God graunt us al therin to be Trended ! 
And thus The Testament of Love is ended.' 

It is not my purpose to deal with the history of the pearl 
as treated allegorically from far-off times. 1 To do so would 
lead me into studies of Oriental mysticism ; but there can be 
no doubt that in Hebrew symbolism the soul was likened to 
a pearl, the ' muddy vesture of decay ' being regarded as the 
mere shell, or as the precious metal in which the jewel was 

1 Perhaps the most striking mystical poem on the Pearl is the 
beautiful gnostic ' Hymn of the Soul,' attributed to the Syrian gnostic 
Bardaisan, circa A.D. 150. Here the Pearl ' lies in the sea, hard by 
the loud-breathing Serpent.' It has to be brought by the King's 
son to the House of his Father's Kingdom. I take the Pearl in the 
Hymn to be symbol of purity amid the defilements of the world. 
Mr. G. R. S. Mead, in ' The Hymn of the Robe of Glory ' (London 
and Benares, 1908), gives the poem, together with Bibliography, 
Comments, and Notes. Mr. Mead, in a fascinating article in ' The 
Quest,' January 1913, discussed a new-found Manichean Treatise, 
from China, translated and annotated by MM. Ed. Chavannes and 
P. Pelliot ('Journal Asiatique,' November-December 1911). It 
would appear probable that certain gnostic elements link this work 
with the Hymn attributed to Bardaisan. Here we have seven 
pearls ' hidden in the labyrinth of the impure city of the Demon of 
Lust.' Also, it is of special interest that the precious pearl called 
' moon-light,' with which pity and compassion are compared, is 'the 
first among all jewels.' 

Dr. R. M. Garrett ('University of Washington Publications, IV, 
1918) quotes the charming letter of St. Hilary of Poictiers to his 
twelve-year-old daughter Abra (A.D. 358), concerning a certain 
Prince who possesses a pearl and a robe of priceless value. He 
tells her how humbly he begged the gift for the little daughter he 
so tenderly loved. With the letter he sends a hymn ; she is to 
ask her mother to explain both letter and hymn. 

On the Pearl in Mystical Literature, cp. also Kunz and 
Stevenson's ' The Book of the Pearl' (London, 1908). 


set. ' It is meet,' said the Cabbalistic Rabbi, * a man should 
have compassionate regard for his soul, the pure pearl which 
God has given to him, for it is not proper that he should 
defile it, but, as is said in the Talmud, should give it back to 
God pure as he received it' * The Pearl of the Gospel links 
itself to this fine thought ; and our poem emphasises this same 
aspect of the pearl as the undefiled spirit, the soul of the child, 
reclaimed by the Prince the Pearl that He has set in the 
radiant gold of heaven, transcending its earthly setting in all 
the grace and charm of child-beauty. The Pearl has now 
been sundered from the shell. ' The sowle is the precious 
marguarite vnto God,' the good Knight of La Tour-Landry 
taught his daughters in his book, which, as I have attempted 
to show elsewhere, seems to have been well known to our 
poet. 2 

The Plan of the Poem. Distraught with grief at the loss 
of his little daughter, the poet, prone on the child's grave, 
beholds her in a vision, gloriously transfigured. 3 He sees 
her radiant, clad in white, her surcoat and kirtle broidered 
with pearls, and on her head a pinnacled crown, her hair 

1 From the late Cabbalistic work Reshith Chochmah, III. i., by 
Elias de Vidas, who notes that the idea of the soul as a pearl is 
in the Zohar, a medieval Jewish gnostic work containing much 
ancient lore. I owe this reference to the Rev. Morris Joseph, in 
whose Judaism in Creed and Life the passage is alluded to. 

2 See Preface to 'Cleanness' (Select Early English Poems). 

3 Nothing that has been written attempting to prove that the 
poem is merely an allegory, and is not inspired by a personal grief, 
has impressed me in the least degree. The chief exponent of this 
view was the late Professor Schofield ; see Appendix. As further 
illustration of the personal aspect of the poem, cp. De Quincey, 
on the death of little Kate Wordsworth, who died aged ' not 
above three' (De Quincey's Works, ed. Masson, 1896, Vol. II. 


loose upon her shoulders, while ' a wonder pearl ' is set upon 
her breast. The little child, as the very embodiment of 
Reason, or rather of Divine Sapience, disputes with the 
father on the error of impious grief, and explains that the 
whiteness of her robe and the crown on her head betoken 
her bridal as Queen of Heaven, and that though she has 
worked but little in the vineyard of earth, her innocence has 
given her the like reward with those who by righteousness 
have won the crown. All who enter the realm are kings 
and queens. The pearl she wears is the token of the bride's 
betrothal a token, too, of Truce with God. And the father 
is begged by his child to purchase his peace, even as the 
merchant of the Gospel, having found one pearl of price, sold 
his all to buy it. By her exposition of the Parable of the 
Vineyard, Pearl explains that, little child as she was, she 
reached at once the great goal of queenship in the court of 
heaven, where Mary reigns as Empress. For the father 
it would have sufficed had she attained the state of countess, 
or even of a lady of less degree. But, he urges, surely she and 
her peers dwell in some great manor or within castle-walls. 
Could he not behold their dwelling-place ? In the vision the 
father is on one side of the stream, his transfigured child on 
the other, and she tells him that by Divine grace he is to be 
granted a sight of their glorious home. She bids him follow 
on his side, while she shows the way on hers, until he reaches 
a hill. Then, as the seer of Patmos, from a hill he beholds 
the New Jerusalem descending as a bride from heaven, and 
the City of God, as pictured by the Apostle, is revealed to 
him in all its glory and rich radiance. 1 Amid the golden 
splendour, dazzling as the light of the sun, suddenly there 
appears within the citadel a procession of maidens, as moons 
Cp. Faerie Queene,' Book I. x. 



of glory, all crowned and clad in self-same fashion, gentle ' as 
modest maids at Mass.' And lo, among them he beholds 
his 'little queen,' who he thought had stood by him in the 
glade. The sight of his lost Pearl is too much for his love- 
longing, and notwithstanding the earlier warning that no 
one living could pass the stream, the dreamer dashes 
forward to plunge, determined to cross. The movement 
wakes him, and he declares that the lesson of resignation 
has now been learnt. 

The Poem in Relation to its Main Sources. As I read the 
poem, it seems to me that its scheme is elaborated from the 
one thought of the transfiguration of the child, and that 
the poet successively explains the significance of the spotless 
whiteness of her attire, of the regal crown she wears, of the 
pearl of price ; and then, by a natural culmination, proceeds 
to portray the heavenly dwelling the New Jerusalem. 

For the last, he naturally paraphrased Revelation xxi. and 
other passages from the Apocalypse of St. John, which book 
indeed inspired his whole conception of the mystical bridal, 
'And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in 
fine linen, clean and white,' Rev. xix. 8. Truly, white is 
almost the burden of the poet's description of the maiden's 
robe, her kirtle and all her vesture, her crown, and the pearls 
that bedeck her. It is of interest to contrast this emphasis 
on ' white ' with the more direct but less effective reference, 

1 And gode faire Whyte she hete, 
That was my lady name right,' 1 

and the lines which follow, in which Chaucer appraises 
Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster. To Chaucer the possi- 

1 ' Book of the Duchess,' 948-9. 


bilities of the name with reference to its spiritual significance 
were hardly present ; in our poet's mind the text is uppermost 
concerning those ' which have not defiled their garments ; 
and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy,' 
Rev. iii. 4. 

With obvious delight in pictorial description, the poet 
depicts the white surcoat, 1 with its hanging lappets, after 
the fashion of those of highest degree, and leads up to the 
crown, with its whiteness of pearl and its ornamentation of 
flowers, the aureole of maidenhood. In the Apocalypse it is 
the Elders that have on their heads the crowns of gold, but 
the coronation of the Virgin as empress of heaven, and of 
the brides as queens, forms a very integral part of medieval 
homiletic literature as of medieval art. 2 The allegorical 
interpretation of the Song of Songs in relation to the bridal 
of the Apocalypse seems to have influenced this idea of the 
crowning : * Go forth, O ye daughters of Sion, and behold 
King Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned 
him in the day of his espousals' (Song of Solomon iii. n). 
A like crown was bestowed upon the bride. 3 ' Come with 
me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon ' 
(iv. 8), became the burden of the mystical Epithalamium. 
Thus our poet applies the words in Stanza Ixiv, 11. 763-4. 
So, too, in ' Olympia ' we have ' De Libano nunc sponsa veni 
sacrosque hymenaeos ' as the heavenly songs they sing ; and 
in the ' Song of Great Sweetness,' belonging to the early 
fifteenth century, there is the same application, 'Veni de 

1 The surcoat above the robe had probably some special mystical 
significance. So, too, in the ' Hymn of the Soul ' there is the 
Purple Mantle over the Robe of Glory (cp. Mead, p. 46). 

a Cp. Didron, 'Christian Iconography,' London, 1886. 

8 Cp. Ezek. xvi. 12. ^"*- 


Libano . . . veni coronaberis.' 1 The main portion of our 

poem is drawn from the Parable of the Vineyard and the 

Apocalypse, and is the amplification of the Gospel text 

r concerning the Pearl of Price in its twofold application, as 

A typify m & on tne one hand ideal maidenhood, that is, the jewel 

^"N* above rubies,' 2 and on the other the Kingdom of Heaven, 

(/the Peace of God. 

" In the earlier part of the poem, both in the description of 
the spice-garden, where Pearl is at rest, and in the visionary 
scenes through which the poet passes till he comes to the 
sundering stream beyond which he sees the ' maiden of 
mensk,' he is haunted by the dream-pictures of the ' Romaunt 
of the Rose,' and even Divine Love seems to the bereft father 
to be ' Luf-Daungere,' that is, Love the Severer, as in 
the Romaunt, * Daunger ' is the power that keeps the lover 
from the object of his love. And Pearl, as portrayed and 
in her utterance, recalls the figure of Reason drawn by 
William de Lorris (cp. Chaucerian version, 11. 3189-216). 
The wells joined by conduits, in the garden of Sir Mirth, are 
very directly referred to by our poet in his description of 
the country of his dream. 3 Thereafter, the Romaunt, save 
for a few slight echoes, gives place to the Scriptures. The 
stream is not the artificial conduit of the Garden of the Rose, 
but, whatever its Biblical source, its beauty has been sug 
gested by the river in the Romaunt described before the 
Lover reached the garden. 

' Et pave 
Lefons de 1'iaue de gravele,' 

1 Early English Text Society, Original Series, 24, ed. Furnivall. 

2 The marginal reference in Matt. xiv. 45-6 to Proverbs iii. 14-15 
indicates this application. 

3 See note on 11. 139-40. 


which in the Chaucerian rendering is as follows, 

* paved everydel 
With gravel, ful of stones shene' (11. 126-7) 

becomes richly transformed in ' Pearl ' ; but the words ' in 
)?e founce 3 betray the direct source of the lines, 

' In )>e founce )>er stonden stone^ stepe, 
As glente )>ur3 glas >at glowed & gly3t,' etc. (11. 113 ff.). 

Metre, Diction, and Style. The stanzaic form of * Pearl,' 
twelve lines with four accents, rhymed according to the 
scheme ababababbcbc, and combining rhyme with allitera 
tion, may have been used by previous poets, but it is 
difficult to say whether any of the extant poems in this 
metre, which seems to have been popular, belong to a date 
earlier than * Pearl.' l But not one of them is comparable 

1 The metre is fairly common ; see poems in Trans. Phil. Soc., 
1858, ed. Furnivall ; 'Political, Religious and Love Poems,' ed. 
Furnivall, E.E.T.S. 15; 'Hymns to the Virgin and Christ,' ed. 
Furnivall, E.E.T.S. 24 ; 'Twenty-six Political and Other Poems,' 
ed. Kail, E.E.T.S. 124. Ten Brink was of opinion that 'Pearl' 
was modelled on the 'Song of Mercy ' (Trans. Phil. Soc., 1858, 
p, 118), but there is no evidence in favour of this, nor can the 
date be fixed. The only poem in this metre that seems to give 
evidence of being influenced by 'Pearl' is 'God's Complaint.' 
' Thou art an vnkynde omagere ' sounds much like an echo of 
Pearl's ' f>ou art no kynde jueler.' Concerning this poem and 
its author, Glassinbery, and the similar poem, ' This World is 
Very Vanity,' see my article in ' Athenaeum, ' March 29, 1902. 

The earlier alliterative rhyming poems in Harl. MS. 2253, though 
not in the. same form as ' Pearl,' indicate certain points in common, 
and have similar characteristics as regards linking and alliteration. 

On the metrical structure of the poem, see article by Professor 
Clark S. Northup, 'Study of the Metrical Structure of The Pearl? 
Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, XII. 
pp. 326-40. This article seems to me to fail by reason of the writer's 
assumption in respect of the sounding or non-sounding of final -is 


to our poem in rhythm, beauty of well-defined caesura, 
and dignity of movement. There are in 'Pearl' 101 such 
stanzas. These divide again into twenty sections, each 
consisting of five stanzas, having the same refrain ; section 
fifteen is exceptional, with six stanzas. Throughout the 
poem the last or main word of the refrain is caught up in 
the first line of the next stanza. 1 Finally, the last line of 
the poem re-echoes the first, and rounds the whole. 

through not giving sufficient recognition to the trisyllabic character 
of the metre of the poem. An examination of the rhyming words 
goes far, in my opinion, to prove that the dialect in respect of the 
final -e is artificial, for -e's obviously mute at the end are in many 
cases distinctly syllabic within the line. Nor do I agree that the 
great number of words in which final -e is written but unsounded, 
as compared with the few which sound an -e not written, tends to 
confirm the theory of Fick and Knigge that the copyist of the 
MS. spoke Sth. or S.W. M. In the case of so late a MS. as Cotton 
Nero A. x. the conventional writing of the final -e would prove 

In my present text I have supplied the syllabic -<?'s within the 
line necessary for the minimum metrical requirement in the follow 
ing cases: 11. 17, 51, 72, 122, 225, 286, 381, 486, 564, 586, 635, 
678, 683, 825, 912, 999, looo, 1004, 1036, 1041, 1076. Professor 
Osgood considers these irregularities as perfectly natural in a poet 
whose usual medium is the alliterative long line, and therefore re 
tains the MS. readings, to the detriment, in my view, of the metrical 
effect of the poem. The omission of some twenty -e's is a very small 
proportion in a poem of 1212 lines, and it is noteworthy that a large 
proportion of the words in question end in consonant combinations, 
of which the first is often r, or other voiced continuant. As regards 
1. 709, the line as in the MS. seems to indicate a monosyllabic foot 
at the beginning of the line and after the csesura ; but ' so ' was 
probably omitted by the scribe after 'quo'; cp. ' quat so,' 1. 566. 
With reference to 1. 990, the only line mentioned by Northup in 
which the unstressed syllable is lacking, see my Note. 

1 On the stanza-linking, cp. 'The Romanic Review,' arts, by 
Margaret Medary and A. C. L. Brown ; Vol. VII. pp. 243, 271. 


While alliteration is used effectively by the poet, he does 
not attempt to employ it rigidly, or sacrifice thereto either 
thought or feeling. 

I can point to no direct source to which the poet of 
' Pearl ' was indebted for his measure ; that it belongs to 
French or Provengal poetry, I have little doubt. These 
twelve-line stanzas seem to me to resemble, in effect, the 
earliest form of the sonnet more than anything else I 
have as yet discovered. Perhaps students may find ' a 
billow of tidal music one and whole' in the 'octave, 3 and 
in the closing quatrain of the verse the 'ebbing' of the 
sonnet's ' sestet.' It is noteworthy that the earliest extant 
sonnet, that of Pier delle Vigne, for a knowledge of which 
we are indebted to J. A. Symonds, has the same arrange 
ment of rhymes in its octave as the stanzas of ' Pearl,' viz., 
abababab. Be this as it may, all will, I hope, recognise 
that there is a distinct gain in giving to the 101 stanzas of 
the poem the appearance of a sonnet sequence, marking 
clearly the break between the initial octave and the closing 
quatrain. In the MS. there is no such indication. When 
' Pearl ' was written, the sonnet was still foreign to English 
literature ; the poet, if he knew of this form, wisely chose 
as its counterpart a measure less ' monumental,' and more 
suited for lyrical emotion. The refrain, the repetition of 
the catch-word of each verse, the trammels of alliteration, 
all seemed to have offered no difficulty ; and as far as power 
over technical trammels contributes to poetic greatness, 
the author of ' Pearl ' must take high rank among English 

To judge by the result, our poet seems to have discovered 
the artistic form best suited for his subject. With a rich 
vocabulary at his command, consisting, on the one hand, 


of alliterative phrases, ' native mother- words,' derived from 
his local dialect, in which English, French, and Scandinavian 
elements were strikingly blended, and on the other hand, 
of words and allusions due to knowledge of Latin and 
French literature, he succeeded in producing a series of 
stanzas so simple in syntax, so varied in rhythmical effect, 
now lyrical, now epical, never undignified, as to leave the 
impression that no form of metre could have been more 
suitably chosen for this elegiac theme. 

It has been alleged that the diction of the poem is faulty 
in too great copiousness. On the contrary, the richness of 
its vocabulary seems to me one of its special charms, and 
this might be well illustrated by comparing such a section 
of the poem as the Parable of the Vineyard with the 
earlier poetical version of the same parable in MS. Harl. 
2253, or with the Wycliffite prose version. 

Imagery. The wealth and brilliancy of the poet's descrip 
tions have been the subject of criticism. But surely this 
richness is what one would expect in a poem, the inspiration 
of which is mainly derived from the visionary scenes of the 
Apocalypse, with its pictorial phantasies, and the ' Roman 
de la Rose,' with its personifications and allegory. The poet's 
fancy revels in the richness of the heavenly and the earthly 
paradise, but it is subordinated to his earnestness and inten 
sity. The heightened style of 'Pearl' responds, moreover, 
to the poet's own genius for touching vividly his dream- 
pictures with rich imagery and bright colour. The wealth 
and brilliancy pervading 'Pearl' may still delight those 
theorists who seek in our literature that ' fairy dew of natural 
magic,' which is supposed to be the peculiar gift of the 
Celtic genius, and which can be discovered as 'the sheer 
inimitable Celtic note' in English poetry. It would, I 


think, be fair to say that the Apocalypse has had a special 
fascination for the poet because of its' almost Romantic 
fancy, and that he has touched certain scenes of the book 
with a brilliancy of colour and richness of description 
altogether foreign to the Germanic strain of our literature. 
' Pearl ' finds its truest counterpart in the delicate miniatures 
of medieval missals, steeped in richest colours and bright 
with gold, and it is just those scenes of the Apocalypse 
which the old miniaturists loved to portray, one might better 
say lived to portray, that seemed to have been uppermost 
in our poet's mind, such favourite themes as, ' I looked, 
and behold, a door was opened in heaven, 5 which gave 
special scope to medieval artists. On the title-page of 
this book will be found an imprint from one of these old 
miniatures ; it is part of an illustration to the verse just 
quoted, and may well apply to our poet, 

* Falling with his weight of cares 
Upon the world's great altar-stairs.' 

The Poet's Sources: (i) The Bible; (2) The Roman de la 

Rose. The poet's main sources of inspiration were, as 
already indicated, the Bible and the ' Roman de la Rose,' 
that secular Bible of medieval poets. The latter pervades 
his fancy, and influences thought, diction, and imagery, 
while, when once he has chosen as his theme the Pearl of 
the Gospel and the problem of the Parable of the Vineyard, 
the former dominates his whole conception. Whatever 
theological questions may be enunciated in the course 
of the poem, ' Pearl ' is to my mind, without a doubt, an 
elegiac poem expressive of personal grief, a poet's lament 
for the loss of his child, and in its treatment transcends 
the scholastic and theological discussions of the time. 


The Question of Boccaccio's 'Olympia,' and Dante. An 

attempt has been made to demonstrate that 'Pearl' is 
merely allegorical and theological, but this view ignores 
or fails to recognise the personal touches whereby the 
poem soars above all theological questions, and makes its 
^simple and direct appeal to the human heart. It is of 
great interest that, soon after 1358, some years before 
'Pearl,' Boccaccio wrote an elegy on his young daughter 
Violante the Latin Eclogue ' Olympia.' There is no clear 
evidence that this most charming of Boccaccio's shorter 
poems' was known to our poet, or was one of his sources of 
inspiration. 'Olympia,' however, may well be considered 
as a companion poem, of the highest interest and fascination 
both intrinsically and for the purposes of comparative study. 
Accordingly, the Latin text, with a translation, is included 
in the present volume, together with a brief introductory 
study of its history and the question of its relation to ' Pearl.' 

I can trace no direct influence of Dante on our poet, 
though parallels may be found, both in the ' D ivina Commedia ' 
and the 'Vita Nuova,' as regards conception, imagery, and 
description. However striking the similarities may appear, 
these parallels are due, in my opinion, to similar thought, 
and to the common methods of medieval mysticism. It 
cannot be proved that our poet was acquainted with the 
writings of the greatest mind of the medieval age. Yet 
again, it is not without profit for the student of 'Pearl' 
to re-rea4 the Divine Comedy and the New Life, and to 
recognise( Pearl's spiritual kinship to Dante's Beatrice. 

The Poet and English Writers. The author was no doubt 
acquainted with English poets, his contemporaries and 
predecessors. He would have been attracted to the writings 
of Hampole and other mystics, and also to the English 


homilies on Holy Maidenhood, 1 the English legends of 
Saints, especially those dealing with St. Margaret. He 
was a disciple of the alliterative poets. As regards Chaucer, 
I can discover no trace of influence. The ' Book of the 
Duchess,' which is adduced as a source of inspiration, is 
but another elegiac poem belonging to the same genre as 
4 Pearl.' That Chaucer should refer to Blanche as the 
Phoanix of Araby, and that the poet of * Pearl ' applies 
the same term to the Virgin Mary, cannot be taken seriously 
as evidence of direct influence ; and so, too, with other 
medieval conventional phrases or ideas common to the two 

We know from his other poems that he was acquainted 
with French contemporary literature, the romances of 
chivalry, and Mandeville's Travels. In 'Pearl' so far we 
have not succeeded in finding any traces of the influence 
of this secular literature, though perhaps in such a charming 
touch as we find in 11. 489-92, 

'As countess, damosel, par ma fay, 
'Twere fair in heaven to hold estate, 
Or as a lady of lower degree, 
But Queen, it is too high a goal,' 

we have a note suggestive of a writer who would have been 
specially interested in the higher social life depicted in 
romances of courtesy and chivalry. 

The MS. Illustrations of the Poems. The pictorial character 
of his poem could not have escaped the poet. The unique 
MS. of 'Pearl' contains four crude illustrations depicting 

1 Compare especially the thirteenth-century alliterative homily, 
' HaH Meidenhad,' ed. Cockayne, E.E.T.S., 1866, which on p. 22 
strikingly illustrates certain passages of the poem, see Note on 11. 
205, 1 1 86. 


its chief episodes. In the first, the author is represented 
slumbering in a meadow, by the side of a beflowered mound 
(not a stream, as has been said), clad in a long red gown 
with falling sleeves, turned up with white, and a blue 
hood attached round the neck. Madden and others who 
have described the illustrations have not noticed that there 
are wings 'wings of fancy' attached to the shoulders of 
the dreamer, and a cord reaching up into the foliage above, 
evidently intended to indicate that the spirit has ' sped forth 
into space.' In the second, the same figure appears, drawn 
on a larger scale, and standing by a river. In the third, he 
is again represented in a similar position, with his hands 
raised, and on the opposite side is Pearl, dressed in white, 
in the costume of the time of Richard the Second and 
Henry the Fourth ; her dress is buttoned tight up to the neck, 
and on her head is a crown. In the fourth, the author is 
kneeling by the water, and beyond the stream is depicted a 
castle or palace, on the embattled walls of which Pearl again 
appears, with her arm extended towards him. I had the 
good fortune to induce my ever-revered friend, the late 
W. Holman Hunt, to give Pearl a place in the history of 
English art, and by way of contrast to the illustrations of 
the MS., now reproduced, the portrayal of the poet's theme 
as conceived by the greatest of modern Pre-Raphaelites is 
given as frontispiece to the present volume. 

Two illustrations follow after the pages of ' Pearl ; ; they 
are evidently intended to represent respectively Noah and 
his family in the Ark, and the prophet Daniel expounding 
the writing on the wall to the affrighted Belshazzar and his 
queen. It is clear that these have nothing to do with the 
subject of ' Pearl ' ; they belong to a second poem, written 
in a distinctly different metre, the short lines of ' Pearl ' 


giving place to longer lines, alliterative and rhymeless. The 
subject of the poem is its first word, ' Cleanness,' and it 
relates in epic style the lessons of the Flood, the fall of 
Sodom and Gomorrah, Belshazzar's fate, in order to 
exemplify the Divine resentment that visits the impenitent 
who are guilty of faults of ' Uncleanness.' A prelude on 
the parable of the Marriage Feast precedes, and by way of 
illustrating Divine moderation, the Fall of the Angels and 
the Fall of Man are briefly handled. 

In the MS. two new pictures precede what is obviously 
a third poem. The medieval artist is evidently representing 
episodes in the life of Jonah. The poem is a metrical 
rendering of the story of Jonah, and is in the same metre as 
' Cleanness ' ; the subject, too, is indicated by its first word, 

It is noteworthy that both these alliterative poems, though 
rhymeless, are intentionally written in quatrains, and the 
recognition of this device is necessary for their right 
understanding and appreciation. 

Links with * Cleanness ' and ' Patience.' These two poems, 
' Cleanness ' and * Patience,' may actually be, or may well 
be regarded as pendants to ' Pearl,' dwelling more definitely 
on its two main themes purity and submission to the 
Divine will. The link that binds 'Cleanness' to 'Pearl' is 
unmistakable. The significance of the pearl is dwelt on as 
symbol of the purified spirit : 

' How can'st thou approach His court save thou be clean ? . . . 
Through shrift thou may'st shine, though thou hast served shame ; 
Thou may'st become pure through penance, till thou art a pearl. 

The pearl is praised wherever gems are seen, 
Though it be not the dearest by way of merchandise. 
Why is the pearl so prized, save for its purity, 
That wins praise for it above all white stones ? 


It shineth so bright, it is so round of shape, 
Without fault or stain, if it be truly a pearl. 
It becometh never the worse for wear, 
Be it ne'er so old, if it remain but whole. 

If by chance 'tis uncared for and becometh dim, 
Left neglected in some lady's bower, 
Wash it worthily in wine, as its nature requireth : 
It becometh e'en clearer than ever before. 

So if a mortal be defiled ignobly, 

Yea, polluted in soul, let him seek shrift ; 

He may purify him by priest and by penance, 

And grow brighter than beryl or clustering pearls.' 

' One speck of a spot may deprive us even 
Of the Sovereign's sight who sitteth on high. . . . 

As the bright burnished beryl ye must be clean, 

That is wholly sound and hath no flaw; 

Be ye stainless and spotless as a margery pearl.' 

('Cleanness,' 11. mo, 1115-32, 551-2, 554-6.) 

Similarly, it would be an easy matter to point out links 
that bind together the poems of ' Cleanness' and * Patience.' 
We find in each of them the same didactic purpose, the 
same strength of descriptive power, the same delight in 
nature, more especially when agitated by storm and tempest, 
the same rich gift of expression, and the same diction and 
rhythm. But if there were any question of the identity of 
authorship, the descriptions of the Deluge from ' Cleanness ' 
and of the sea-storm which overtook Jonah from * Patience ' 
would, I think, be almost adequate proof; the writer of the 
one was most certainly the writer of the other. 

* Pearl' and 'Sir Gawain.' A fourth poem follows 
' Cleanness ' and ' Patience ' in the MS. As one turns the 
leaves, it becomes clear at a glance that the metre of the 
poem is a combination of the epic alliterative measure and 


the rhyming verse of romances of the ' Sir Thopas ' type ; 
for a lyrical burden, introduced by a short line of one accent, 
and rhyming according to the scheme ababa, breaks the 
sequence of the unrhymed alliterative lines at irregular 
intervals, producing the effect of stanzas averaging some 
twenty lines. 

The poem is illustrated much in the same way as those 
that precede it, the scriptural pictures yielding to scenes of 
medieval romance. In the first a headless knight on horse 
back carries his head by its hair in his right hand, looking 
benignly at an odd-eyed bill-man before him ; while from a 
raised structure above him a king armed with a knife, his 
queen, an attendant with a sabre, and another bill-man look 
on. Three other illustrations, dealing with various episodes 
of the poem, are added at the end. One of them represents 
a stolen interview between a lady and a knight. Above the 
picture is written the following couplet : 

' Mi mind is mukel on on, that will me noght amende, 
Sum time was trewe as ston, and fro schame couthe her defende.' 

The couplet has proved a crux. ' It does not appear,' 
wrote Sir Frederick Madden, 'how these lines apply to the 
painting ' ; Dr. Morris quoted the remark without comment. 
We shall see the possible value of the cryptic lines later on, 
But first concerning the subject of the poem. It is the 
well-known romance of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, 
the weird adventure that befell Sir Gawain, the son of Loth 
and nephew of King Arthur, the favourite hero of medieval 
romance, popular more especially in the west and northern 
parts of England, where in all probability traditions of the 
knight lived on from early times. The English Gawain 
literature of the fourteenth century, though for the most part 


derived from French originals, betrays on all sides the 

writers' eagerness to satisfy popular enthusiasm for the 

hero's ideal character. Sir Gawain was indeed the Sir 
Calydore of Spenser's fourteenth-century precursor, 

' beloved over all, 

In whom it seems that gentlenesse of spright 
And manners mylde were planted natural!, 
To which he adding comely guise withall 
And gracious speech did steal men's hearts away. 
Nathless thereto he was full stout and tall, 
And well approved in batteilous affray, 
That did him much renovvne, and far his fame display.' 

The fourteenth-century poets of the West and North of 
England regarded Gawain, ' the falcon of the month of May, 3 
as the traditional embodiment of all that was chivalrous and 
knightly. The depreciation of the hero in later English 
literature was doubtless due to the direct influence of one 
particular class of French romances, and it is from these 
very romances that modern Englishmen ultimately derive 
their view of Gawain's character. 'Light was Gawain in 
life, and light in death,' is the thought that rises now in 
every English mind at mention of the hero's name. I know 
but one passage in the whole of early English poetry where 
the knight is similarly characterised ; it is significantly by 
an East Midland poet, probably the last of English men of 
letters to write in Anglo-French. In one of his Anglo-French 
ballades the 'moral' Gower, singing in praise of truest 
constancy, declares : 

( Cil qui tout ditz change sa fortune, 
Et ne voet estre en un soul lieu certein 
Om le poet bien resembler a Gawein, 
Courtois d! amour, mais il fuist trap volage.' 

During the second half of the fourteenth century there 


was special activity in the western districts of England in 
the making of Gawain romances, the poets vying with each 
other in their glorification of the hero. 

The Arthurian literature of the reign of Edward III. may 
well be considered in relation to that monarch's attempt to 
revive at Windsor some of the glories of Camelot, and the 
present poem may be in some way suggested by the Order 
of the Garter, or connected with the bestowal of the Order 
upon some noble, in honour of whom Gawain was depicted 
with such obvious enthusiasm on the part of the poet. It is 
noteworthy that at the end of the MS. of the romance a 
somewhat later hand has written the famous legend of the 
Order : 

' Hony soit qui mal penc.' 

There is, moreover, stronger confirmation of this aspect 
of the poem. A later poet, to whom we are indebted for a 
ballad of * The Green Knight,' a rifacimento of this romance, 
or of some intermediate form of it, has used the same story 
to account for the origin of another Order. Evidently aware 
of its original application, but wishing to make his ballad 
topical, he ends it with the following reference to the 
Knighthood of the Bath, then newly instituted : 

' All the Court was full faine 
Alive when they saw Sir Gawain, 

They thanked God abone ; 
That is the matter and the case, 
Why Knights of the Bath wear the lace, 

Until they have wonnen their shoon. 

Or else a ladye of high estate 
From about his necke shall it take 

For the doughtye deeds that hee hath done ; 
It was confirmed by Arthur the King, 
Thorow Sir Gawain's desiringe, 

The King granted him his boone.' 
c 2 



This theory gives us, at all events, a terminus a quo for 
the date of the romance of Gawain ; it must belong to some 
year later than 1345, the probable date of the foundation of 
the Order of the Garter. Language, diction, thought, rhythm, 
power of description, moral teaching, vividness of fancy, 
artistic consciousness, and love of nature, all link this most 
remarkable Spenserian romance to ' Pearl, 3 ' Cleanness,' and 
1 Patience' ; and for a right understanding of the poet and his 
work the four poems must be treated together. The relation 
that they bear to one another, as regards time of composition, 
cannot be definitely determined. 

Probable Date. There is no definite evidence for the 
date of ' Pearl.' General considerations of language point 
to the second half of the fourteenth century. In view, how 
ever, of evidence adduced by me enabling us to fix 1373 
as the earliest date for ' Cleanness,' 1 it may be safe to accept 
about 1370 as the date of composition of 'Pearl,' if we are 
right in assuming that the elegy preceded the homily. 
'Patience' and 'Cleanness' must certainly belong to about 
the same time. The workmanship and skill of ' Gawain,' to 
say nothing of its tone and pervading spirit, are so trans 
cendent as to make it difficult for one to assign the poem to 
a date at all near that of ' Cleanness ' and ' Patience/ unless 
we have here an instance of an early achievement of a poet's 
genius which, for some cause or other affecting its buoyancy, 
joy in life, and enthusiasm for romance, failed to maintain 
its power. On the whole, I am at present inclined to the 
view that a long period intervened between the homiletic 
poems and the matured excellence of ' Gawain.' Yet again 
in this poem we have a striking reference to the pearl : 

1 See Preface to ' Cleanness.' 


' As perle bi )>e quite pese is of prys more, 
So is Gawayn, in god fayth, bi o]>er gay kny3te3,' 

'as the pearl is of greater price than white pease, so is 
Gawain, in good faith, than other gay knights.' 

Huehown and the Alliterative Poems. And who was 
the poet to whom we are indebted for these remarkable 
poems? The question must still remain unanswered. 
Unfortunately no tradition concerning their authorship has 
come down to us, and no definite link has as yet been dis 
covered connecting the poems with any name. Some fifty 
years back, Dr. Guest, the historian of English Rhythms, 
set up a claim for a Scotch poet, Huehown by name, but 
this claim cannot stand the test of philological analysis, in 
spite of any circumstantial evidence in its favour. The story 
of Huchown's supposed connection with the poems is an 
interesting piece of literary history. Andrew of Wyntown, in 
his 'Orygynale Cronykil'of Scotland, written at the end of 
the fourteenth century, mentions a poet, Huehown of the 
' Awle Ryale,' who, in his ' Gest Hystoriale,' 

' Called Lucius Hiberius Emperoure, 
When King of Britain was Arthoure.' 

The chronicler excuses the poet, for the mistake was not 
originally his, and adds enthusiastically : 

' men off gud dyscretyowne 
Suld excuse and love Huchowne, 
That cunnand was in literature. 
He made the gret Geste of Arthure 
And the Awntyre of Gawane, 
The Pystyll als offSwete Susane. 
He wes curyws in his style, 
Fayre off fecund, and subtylle, 


And ay to plesans and delyte 
Made in metyre mete his dyte, 
Lytil or nocht nevyrtheles 
Waverand fra the suthfastnes.' 

Huchown was therefore the author of an 'Adventure of 
Gawain.' Is the poem referred to identical with the 'Gawain ' 
poem described above, the romance written by the author of 
* Pearl ' ? Most certainly not. The ' Pystyll of Susan ' men 
tioned by Wyntown is extant ; all are agreed in regarding it 
as Huchown's work : it is a rhyming poem, and therefore of 
special worth as a criterion of dialect. The result of a com 
parative study of this poem and of 'Pearl' proves conclusively 
that they are in different dialects, the one belonging to a 
district north of the Tweed, the other to a more southern 
district. ' Pearl ' cannot, therefore, be the work of the poet 
of the 'Pystyll' ; and if this is true of Pearl,' it is equally 
true of 'Gawain.' It is, moreover, very probable that 
Huchown's ' gret geste of Arthure' is preserved to us, 
though in a changed dialect and with some slight intentional 
modifications, in the alliterative ' Morte Arthur,' and that the 
' Awntyre of Gawane ' may be identified with the ' Awntyrs 
off Arthure at the Terne Wathelyne,' which, as far as diction 
is concerned, is closely connected with the ' Pystyll of 

Dr. Guest rested his claims for Huchown not merely on 
this passage from Wyntoun's Chronicle. In the blank space 
at the head of ' Gawain and the Green Knight,' a hand of the 
fifteenth century has written ' Hugo de ,' and this piece of 
evidence seemed to him to confirm his view of the author 
ship of the poem. In the first place, it is not certain that 
the inscription is intended for the name of the author, but 
even had we clear proof that ' Hugo de aula regali J was to 


be read, the conclusion, from internal evidence, would be 
forced upon us, that the writer had made a mistake by no 
means uncommon in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 
The great masters of literature have always been made the 
official fathers of unclaimed productions. It would be easy 
enough to illustrate this from the pseudo-Chaucerian poems, 
but an interesting parallel may be adduced from the literary 
history of Huchown's great contemporary, Barbour. In the 
Cambridge University Library there is a MS. of Lydgate's 
* Troy Book.' Some portion of Lydgate's work has been lost 
and is replaced by extracts from a version by a northern 
poet. The scribe definitely assigned these inserted passages 
to Barbour merely on the evidence of a general likeness in 
style, but minute investigation places it beyond doubt that 
the fragments are not from the pen of the author of the 
' Bruce.' 

The works of five individual poets have, at different times, 
been fathered on Huchown ; l of these poems some are 
undoubtedly West Midland, others genuinely Scottish, but 
all of them belong to the great period of alliterative poetry, 
the second half of the fourteenth century or the early years 
of the fifteenth, and show the influence of that school of 
English poets that strove on the one hand to revive the old 
English measure, and on the other to combine this archaic 
rhythm with the most complex of Romance metres. In the 
fifteenth century the tradition of this West Midland influence 

1 Dr. George Neilson, in his ' Huchown of the Awle Ryale,' 
1902, attempted to assign to Huchown the great bulk of anonymous 
alliterative poetry, including 'Pearl.' Among other criticisms of 
Dr. Neilson's work, Dr. MacCracken's ' Concerning Huchown ' 
(Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, 
1910) should be noted. 


still lived on north of the Tweed, but the greatest of Scottish 
bards turned to the East Midland poets for their forms, and, 
following the example of their poet-king, were fascinated by 
the irresistible spell of Chaucer's genius. This influence of 
the great English poet on the chief poets of Scotland has 
received abundant recognition ; not so the earlier influence 
of the West Midland poets, whose best representative is the 
nameless author of * Pearl.' 

From among all these poems only one can be singled out as 
being possibly by the author of * Pearl.' On the strength of 
diction, metre, and other characteristics, the anonymous 
alliterative poem of ' Erkenwald/ 1 though it lacks the peculiar 
intensity of * Cleanness ' and ' Patience,' may be an early or 
very late work, unless we have here an imitation by an en 
thusiastic disciple. The theme, however, seems to point to 
London as its place of origin, with about 1386 as its probable 
date. Anyhow, the poem is a noteworthy product of the 
school, and must be linked with ' Cleanness ' and ' Patience,' 
even in the matter of the quatrain arrangement. 2 

Imaginary Biography. But though he be nameless, the 
poet's personality is so vividly impressed on his work that 
one may be forgiven the somewhat hazardous task of attempt 
ing to evolve an account of his earlier life from mere con 
jecture and inference. Such an attempt, though fanciful, at 
all events serves to link together certain facts and impres 
sions, and with this reservation cannot but prove helpful. 

1 An edition of ' Erkenwald,' edited by me, is appearing in 
c Select Early English Poems.' The pagan judge, who is described 
as ' ane heire of anoye,' i.e. a justice in eyre, oyer and terminer, may 
well have been drawn from some legal contemporary, or as an ideal 
picture by way of contrast. 

* The only other alliterative poem outside this group showing 
this quatrain arrangement is the ' Siege of Jerusalem. ' 


If documentary evidence is ever discovered, hypothetical 
conjecture will no doubt be put to a very severe test. 

The poet was born about the same time as Chaucer, 1340. 
His birthplace was somewhere in Lancashire, or perhaps a 
little to the north, 1 but under no circumstances in any district 
beyond the Tweed. The evidence of dialect proves this 
abundantly. The wild solitudes of the Cumbrian coast, near 
his native home, seem to have had special attraction for him. 
Like a later and greater poet, he must already as a youth 
have felt the subtle spell of Nature's varying aspects in those 
West Midland parts ; he too loved to contemplate, even in 
his childhood, 

' . . . Presences of Nature in the sky 
And on the earth ! . . . Visions of the hills 
And souls of lonely places ! ' 

Wordsworth's country may perhaps justly claim our poet as 
one of its sons. 

Concerning the condition of life to which the boy belonged, 
we have no definite clue ; but I am inclined to infer that his 
father was closely connected, in some official capacity, with 
a family of high rank, and that it was amid the gay scenes 
that brightened life in some great castle that the poet's 
earliest years were passed. In later life he loved to picture 

1 It is noteworthy that the poet in his rhymes uses such Northern 
forms as wate (502), abate (617), strate3 (1043), rnare U45) brade 
(138), ware (151) (cp. wore, 154), side by side with his more 
common o forms. In one case (byswyke}, 568) he uses the Northern 
-cs for is. pr. ind. With reference to the phonology of the poem in 
general, Fick's investigation ( ' Zum Mittelenglischen Gedicht von der 
Perle,' Kiel, 1885), generally referred to as though authoritative, 
must now be considered obsolete ; and to a large extent the same is 
true of Knigge's 'Die Sprache des Dichters von Sir Gawain,' 
Marburg, 1885. 


this home, with its battlements and towers, its stately hall 
and spacious parks. There too, perhaps, the minstrel's tales 
of chivalry first revealed to him the rich world of medieval 
Romance, and made him yearn to gain for himself a worthy 
place among a noble band of contemporary English poets, 
whose memory is now, for the most part, lost to us for ever. 

The English poets were certainly his masters in poetic 
art, and although he had read the ' Roman de la Rose, 3 and 
the chief products of early and contemporary French litera 
ture, their influence was comparatively slight as far as the 
general tone of his poetry is concerned. It is a significant 
fact that the poet's only direct reference to the ' Roman ; 
speaks of 'Clopyngel's dene Rose.' Indeed, the intensely 
religious spirit of the poems, together with the knowledge 
they undoubtedly display of Holy Writ, makes it probable 
that the youth may have been destined for the service of 
the Church. He must have studied sacred and profane 
literature at some monastic school, or at one of the 
universities. It is evident that theology and scholasticism 
had formed an important part of his education. But the 
author of ' Pearl' was certainly no priest. 

The four poems preserved in the Cottonian collection 
seem to have belonged to eventful periods of the poet's life. 
( Gawain, 3 written probably for some special occasion, and in 
honour of some nobleman, perhaps the generous patron to 
whose household the poet was attached, is remarkable for 
the evidence it contains of the writer's minute knowledge of 
the ' gentle science of woodcraft, 3 and of all that pertained 
to the higher social life of that time. He has introduced 
into his romance elaborate descriptions of the arming of a 
knight, and of the hunting of the deer, the boar, and the 
fox. From his evident enthusiasm it is clear that he wrote 


from personal experience of the pleasures of the chase, and 
that he was accustomed to the courtly life described by 

The poet had married ; his wedded life was unhappy ; 
the object of his love had disappointed him, and had 
perhaps proved unfaithful. He had passed through some 
such experience before 'Gawain' was written. The poet 
was, I think, speaking for himself when he made his 
knight exclaim : * It is no marvel for a man to come to 
sorrow through woman's wiles ; so was Adam beguiled, and 
Solomon and Samson and David, and many more. It were 
indeed great bliss for a man to love them well and believe 
them not if one but could.' 

'Gawain' is the story of a noble knight, bearing the 
shield of Mary, triumphing over sore temptations that beset 
his vows of chastity. How often, while drawing his ideal 
picture of the Knight of Courtesy, did the poet's thoughts 
recur to the reality of his own life ! Perhaps in a musing 
mood he wrote in the blank space at the head of one of the 
illustrations in his MS. the suggestive couplet : 

' My mind is much on one, who will not make amend ; 
Sometime she was true as stone, and from shame could her 

His wedded life had brought him happiness an only 
child, his 'little queen.' He perhaps named the child 'Mar 
gery ' or ' Marguerite ' ; she was his ' pearl,' emblem of 
holiness and innocence. But his happiness was short-lived ; 
before two years had passed the poet's home was desolate. 1 

1 It is noteworthy that throughout the poem there is no single 
reference, such as one might expect, to the mother of the child. 
The poet's first words when he beholds his transfigured ' Pearl ' are 
significant : 


His grief found expression in verse : a heavenly vision 
of his lost jewel brought him comfort and taught him 
resignation. On the child's grave he placed a garland 
of song, blooming yet, after the lapse of five hundred 

With the loss of his dearest possession a blight seems to 
have fallen on his life, and even poetry may have lost its 
charm for him. The lyrist became the stern moralist of 
' Cleanness ' and ' Patience.' Other troubles, too, seem to 
have befallen him. ' Patience 5 seems to us to be almost as 
autobiographical as ' Pearl.' The poet is evidently preaching 
to himself the lesson of fortitude and hope amid misery, pain, 
and poverty. Something had evidently happened to deprive 
him of the means of subsistence. ' Poverty and Patience,' 
he exclaims, ' are needs playfellows ' : 

' Be bold and be patient, in pain and in joy, 
For he that rends his clothes too rashly 
Must sit anon in worse to sew them together. 
Wherefore when poverty presses me and pains enow, 
Calmly in sufferance it behoves me to be patient ; 
Despite penance and pain, to prove to men's sight 
That patience is a noble point, though it oft displease.' 

4 Cleanness ' and ' Patience ' were probably written not 
long after 'Pearl.' But the vivid descriptions of the sea 
in these two poems perhaps justify the inference that the 
poet may have sought distraction in travel, and may have 
weathered the fierce tempests he describes. 

'O Pearl," quoth I . . . 
" Art thou my Pearl that I have playned, 
Regretted by me, so lone ? " ' 

[11. 241-3. 

This is consistent with my theory concerning the poet's married 


Perchance new joy came into his life, and into whatever 
occupation he may have thrown himself, he may still have 
found in poetry life's chief delight. In this period the 
attraction of Romance and Chivalry may well have re 
asserted itself. Was ' Gawain ' the outcome of this happier 
condition, or did it, in spite of many considerations gain 
saying the view, belong to the period of his early 
happiness ? 

If, late in life, he wrote the poem on 'Erkenwald,' the 
great Bishop of London, whose magnificent shrine was the 
glory of St. Paul's Cathedral, and whose festival Bishop 
Braybroke re-established in the year 1386, it would seem 
that the poet may have found occupation in the City of 
London, in some secular office, allowing him leisure for 
poetry or theology or philosophy, or other intellectual exer 
cise. It is pleasant to think of the possibility of the poet of 
'Pearl' and Chaucer being brought together as London 
officials. Certainly it was a West Midlander who wrote 
1 Erkenwald,' but the poem is a London poem, without 
any doubt, and may, I think, have been associated with 
Bishop Braybroke's efforts to establish the due observance 
of St. Erkenwald's Day. 

If the poet took any part in the Church controversies 
then troubling men's minds, his attitude would have been 
in the main conservative. Full of intense hatred towards 
all forms of vice, especially immorality, he would have 
spoken out boldly against ignoble priests and friars, and 
all such servants of the Church, who, preaching righteous 
ness, lived unrighteously. But whatever his views on 
theological questions, his allegiance to the authority of 
the Church, to Papal supremacy, and to the doctrine 
of Rome, and his attitude towards the amenities of 


social life and wealth, would have kept him aloof from 
Wycliffe and his partisans. Professor Carleton Brown has 
well said that his religious outlook was ' evangelical ' rather 
than ecclesiastical. 1 

The * PhUosophical Strode.' It is indeed remarkable that 
no tradition has been handed down to us concerning one of 
the most distinctive of fourteenth-century writers. It can 
only be accounted for by the fact that, in the first place, his 
instrument of expression was regarded as uncouth by the 

1 Professor Carleton Brown in his article on ' The Author of The 
Pearl considered in the Light of his Theological Opinions' (Publi 
cations of the Modern Language Association of America, Vol. XIX., 
1904) has some interesting and valuable observations on the rela 
tion of the poem to the theology of the time. He holds, against 
my view, that the assumption of a necessary antagonism between 
our author and Wycliffe is unwarranted. lie deals also with the 
attitude of the poet, with special reference to the paraphrase of the 
Parable of the Vineyard, towards the views held by some of his 
contemporary theologians, notably Bradwardine. 

As an indication that the author had in mind the discussions of 
the theologians, Professor Carleton Brown refers to some of the 
terms which he employs. He takes as his example the word 'pre- 
termynable,' 1. 596, suggesting a definite acquaintance with the 
' predeterminatio ' of the Schoolmen. But see my Note on what I 
think is the correct interpretation of the word. I am convinced that 
the poem is not primarily associated with questions of contemporary 
theology, though, as Professor Brown points out, 'from Augustine 
to the fourteenth century the "baptized infant" played an important 
role in the treatises of the theologians.' 

More recently Dr. R. M. Garrett in ' The Pearl : an Interpreta 
tion ' (University of Washington Publications, IV., No. I, 1918), 
argues that ' Pearl ' ' has in its central idea the fundamental teach 
ing of the Eucharist.' The article, though unconvincing, is of 
special interest for its quotations from the ' Epistola Sancti Hilarii 
ad Abram Filiam Suam ' (to which I have already referred) ; and 
for calling attention to this charming piece of literature Professor 
Garrett deserves the best thanks of students of the subject. 


generality of cultured Englishmen, and, in the second place, 
that the bulk of his poetry was small as compared with the 
writings of his better known contemporaries. Langland 
was indeed the only West Midland poet who gained any 
thing approaching national recognition and escaped the 
oblivion of mere local fame. Nevertheless, one must not 
despair of finding some evidence that may settle, once for 
all, the problem of the poet's personality. Indeed, of one 
fourteenth-century writer, whose name and Latin writings 
are preserved, it is recorded that during his youth and early 
manhood he was an ardent wooer of the Muses, and that 
his fame rested on a poem described as an 'Elegy 3 and 
possibly as a 'Vision. 3 Our knowledge of this writer is 
mainly due to the happy chance that Chaucer seems to have 
been his friend and admirer, and dedicated to him no less 
important a poem than his ' Troilus and Creseide 5 : 

* O moral Gower this book I direct 
To thee and to the Philosophical Strode, 
To vouchsafe there need is for to correct, 
To your benignities and zelis good.' 

The antiquary Leland was the first to inquire concerning 
the second of the two names held in such esteem by Chaucer. 
In an old catalogue of worthies of Merton College, drawn 
up in the early years of the fifteenth century, and still pre 
served in the College muniment room, he discovered the 
following most valuable reference : 

' Radulphus Strode, nobilis poeta fuit et versificavit librum 
elegiacum vocatum Phantasma Radulphi.' 

This Ralph Strode, poet, is clearly to be identified with 
the famous philosopher of that name whose philosophical 
works hold an important place in the history of medieval 
logic. He was also famous in his time as a controversialist 


with Wycliffe, and from statements by Wycliffe it is 
possible to gain some insight into Strode's religious views. 
But neither his theology nor his philosophy help us to 
identify him with the writer of the poems in the Cottonian 
collection. 1 

The evidence, such as it is, tending to connect Strode 
and the writer of 'Pearl,' is derived from the following 
considerations. The Merton description (\iphantasma may 
be taken as a somewhat crude Latin rendering of ' dream ' 
or some such word) does not apply to any known poem so 
well as to ' Pearl.' Again, the peculiar force of Chaucer's 
dedication should be considered. Chaucer felt that his 
' Troilus and Creseide 3 was open to the charge of being 
somewhat too free; wherefore, in a spirit of banter, he 
evidently offered it to the correction of two fellow-poets 
whose writings aimed primarily at enforcing moral virtue. 
Now, if asked to name the very antithesis of 'Troilus,' a 
student of fourteenth-century literature could choose no 
better instance than the romance of 'Gawain.' Further, 
there is a tradition that Strode, leaving his native land, 
journeyed through France, Germany, and Italy, and visited 
Syria and the Holy Land. 'An Itinerary to the Holy 
Land,' by this writer, seems to have been known to Nicholas 

1 In my article on Strode, in the Dictionary of National Bio 
graphy ', will be found the first attempt to dispose of the legend of 
Strode's description as a monk of Jedburgh Abbey, and to write 
an authentic biography of the famous Schoolman. As regards the 
possible identification of Chaucer's ' philosophical Strode ' with the 
author of ' Pearl,' the theory, whatever may be its worth, was mine, 
in spite of a wrongful claim made by Dr. Horstmann. 

Professor Carleton Brown, in his article to which I have referred, 
indicates many points that tell against Strode's authorship, though 
I do not agree with his attempt to differentiate the poet, the 
philosopher, and the lawyer. 


Brigham, the enthusiastic devotee of Chaucer, to whom we 
owe his monument in Westminster Abbey. According to 
Antony Wood, Strode's name as a fellow of Merton occurs 
for the last time about 1361. 

The statement, still repeated in text-books on Chaucer, to 
the effect that Strode was a Scotch monk in Jedburgh Abbey, 
was due to the mendacious Dempster, who in his desire to 
claim the logician for Scotland described Strode as a Scotch 
monk, who had received his early education at Dryburgh 

It is noteworthy that a 'Ralph Strode' was Common 
Serjeant of the City of London. There is every reason for 
identifying him with Chaucer's ' philosophical Strode.' They 
were evidently neighbours, for Chaucer lived over the gate 
at Aldgate, while Strode was living over the gate at Alders- 
gate. Ralph Strode, the Common Serjeant of the City, died 
in 1387, and his will was proved in the Archdeaconry Court 
of London ; but, though duly indexed in the archives of the 
Archdeaconry now at Somerset House, the document itself 
is missing. He was involved in the municipal politics that 
distracted London, in the struggles between the partisans of 
the two great Londoners, Brember and Northampton, the 
latter the staunch supporter of Wycliffe. The fortunes of 
Northampton were linked with the fate of Thomas of Usk, 
the author of the ' Testament of Love.' Usk was executed 
early in 1388 ; in the same year Strode's friend and 
supporter, the former Lord Mayor Brember, paid the same 
penalty. Strode had died the previous year. But so far 
as the identity of Strode with the author of 'Pearl' is 
concerned, all is mere conjecture ; no definite piece of 
evidence tending to confirm it is adducible. The question 
still remains unanswered, 


* Who and what he was 
The transitory Being that beheld 
This Vision ; when and where and how he lived. ' 

Bibliography. The present edition of ' Pearl ' is based on 
my edition published by Nutt in 1891, but both text and 
translation have been minutely revised as the result of long 
and continuous study. My attempt in 1891 adequately to 
interpret the poem and to gain recognition for its intrinsic 
merit apart from its philological importance succeeded 
beyond my expectation, and since then much literature, 
many renderings into modern English, and a number of 
investigations have testified to the increased interest taken 
in ' Pearl.' But the credit of having first printed the poem 
belongs to Dr. Richard Morris, who, in 1864, printed it in 
the first issue of the Early English Text Society, the 'Al 
literative Poems. 3 The volume was revised and reprinted in 
1869, etc. 

In the Academy, Vols. XXXIX. and XL., after the publica 
tion of my edition, a discussion on a number of difficult 
problems ensued between Dr. Morris and myself, which 
helped to elaborate and establish certain views of mine on 
contestable points. In 1897 I prepared a revised edition of 
the text, which was privately printed. In 1918 a revision of 
the English translation was issued, imprinted and published 
by George W. Jones, at the Sign of the Dolphin, Gough 
Square, Fleet Street, London, sold for and on behalf of the 
British Red Cross. 

In 1906 Dr. C. G. Osgood published an edition of the 
poem in the Belles Lettres Series. As will be seen from my 
notes to the present edition, Dr. Osgood's contribution to 
the textual interpretation of the poem cannot be considered 
satisfactory. Indeed, to the textual study of the poem very 


little has been contributed in recent years, though many 
problems have been hitherto unelucidated. 

As regards translations, my own in 1891, being of the 
nature of a commentary, was rhymeless though metrical. 
In 1906 Dr. Weir Mitchell produced a charming rendering, 
on the basis of my own, of about the first half of the poem 
(New York, 1906). In the same year appeared Mr. Coulton's 
rendering into modern English in the metre of the original. 
The very attempt to reproduce the highly elaborate rhyming 
system of the Middle English must, in my opinion, unless 
carried through by a gifted poet, prove detrimental to the 
simple grace of the original ; rhyme and meaning become 
almost necessarily crude and forced. Mr. Coulton's version 
exemplified these and other dangers. In 1907 Dr. Osgood 
published a prose translation of the poem (Princeton). In 
1908 (New York) appeared Miss Jewett's rendering in the 
original metre; in 1912 (London) Miss Jessie L. Weston's in 
'Romance, Vision and Satire' (in a modified form of the 
original metre) ; in 1916 (Boston) a prose translation by 
W. A. Neilson and K. G. T. Webster, in < Chief British Poets. 
There have also been other renderings of the whole poem or 
parts of it ; and, as evidence of the widespread enthusiasm 
for 'Pearl,' I may mention that I have received MS. versions 
of portions of the poem not only in various European lan 
guages, but also in languages of India. In 1916 appeared a 
German translation of the poem by Otto Decker (Schwerin). 

As regards phonological studies, W. Fick's 'Zum mittel- 
englischen gedicht von der Perle,' Kiel, 1885, as well as 
F. Knigge's 'Die sprache des dichters von Sir Gawain,' 
Marburg, 1885, often mentioned in connection with the 
poem, are now in my opinion quite obsolete, and should be 
used with the utmost caution. 


In dealing with the metre of the poem, I have referred to 
the only important contribution on the subject, namely, 
Dr. C. S. Northup's 'Study of the Metrical Structure of 
Pearl] Pub. Mod. Lang. Ass. America, Vol. XII. 

Professor W. H. Schofield's papers on 'The Nature and 
Fabric of The Pearl] ibid. Vol. XIX., 'Symbolism, Allegory, 
and Autobiography in The Pearl] ibid. Vol. XXIV., Professor 
Carleton Brown's 'Author of The Pearl Considered in the 
Light of his Theological Opinions,' ibid. Vol. XIX., Dr. 
Garrett's ' The Pearl : an Interpretation,' University of 
Washington Publications, IV., No. i, Seattle, 1918, and 
other studies on interpretation and authorship, are referred 
to in the course of the present Introduction. 

All recent histories of English literature recognise the 
importance of the poet of ' Pearl ' and ( Gawain,' and treat of 
these and the other two alliterative poems. The first 
historian of English literature, however, to give them ade 
quate consideration was the gifted and scholarly Bernhard 
Ten Brink, who in the first volume of his ' History of English 
Literature,' 1877 (translated from the German by Horace M. 
Kennedy, 1883) dealt in a masterly way with these and other 
poems of the alliterative revival. 

In the ' Manual of the Writings in Middle English,' by 
Professor J. E. Wells, 1916, with Supplement, 1919, will be 
found a fairly exhaustive bibliography. To this should be 
added the Bibliography in the Cambridge History of English 
Literature, Vol. I., pertaining to ch. xv. on 'Pearl,' etc., 
written by me, and my article on * Pearl ' in the Encyclopedia 
Britannica, nth edition, Vol. XXL, with the bibliography 

As regards ' Olympia,' the chief bibliographical data will 
be found in my Introduction to the poem in this volume. 



PERLE plesauwte to prynces paye, 
To clanly clos in golde so clere ! 
Oute of Oryent, I hardyly saye, 
Ne proued I nevur her precios pere. 4 

So rouwde, so reken in vche araye, 
So smal, so smo])e her syde^ were ; 
Quere-so-eu^r I jugged gemme^ gaye, 
I sette hyr sengeley in syng[u]l[e]re. 8 

Alias ! I leste hyr in on erbere ; 
J^ur^ gresse to grouwde hit fro me yot. 
I dewyne, for-do[k]ked of luf-daungere 
Of fat pryuy perle wjt/>-outen spot. 12 

FROM COTTON MS., XKKO A.x., i.i.. 129. 


PEARL all-pleasing, prince's treasure, 
too chastely set in gold so pure ! 
From out the Orient, I aver, 
ne'er proved I pearl its precious peer. 
So round, so royal wherever ranged, 
so sweetly small, so wondrous smooth ; 
where'er I judged of joyous gems, 
I placed my Pearl apart, supreme, 
I lost it in a garden alas ! 
Through grass to ground 'twas gone from me. 
I pine, by Severing Love despoil'd 
of Pearl mine own, without a spot. 


Sypen in pat spote hit fro me sprange, 
Ofte haf I wayted, wyschande pat wele, 
pat wont wat^ whyle deuoyde my wrange, 
& heuen my happe & al my hele. 16 

ptft dot} hot prych my hert[e] grange, 
My breste in bale bot bolne & bele ; 
3et po^t me ueuer so swete a sange, 
As stylle stoiwde let to me stele. 20 

For-sope tyer fleten to me fele, 
To penke hir color so clad in clot. 
O moul, pou marre^ a myry Lm^ele,- 
My prmy perle wjyt^-outen spotte. 24 

pat spot of spyse^ [mo] t nede^ sprede, 

per such ryche^ to rot is ru/mef ; 

Blome^ blayke & blwe & rede 

per schyne^ ful schyr agayn J>e sune^ 2 ^ 

Flor & fryte may not be fede 

per hit dou/z drof in molde^ duwne ; 

For vch gresse mot grow of grayne$ dede, 

No whete were elle^ to wone^ wowne. 3 2 

Of goud vche goude is ay by-go/me ; 
So semly a sede mo^t fayly not, 
pat spry[]gande spyce^ vp ne spowne 
Of pat pr^cios perle wyth-outen spotte. 3 6 


There, in that spot, since hence it sped, 
oft have I watch'd, wanting that gem 
that once was wont to vanquish woe, 
and raise my hap and all my weal. 
It doth but pierce my heart with pangs, 
my breast in bale but boil and burn ; 
yet ne'er me seem'd so sweet a song 
as that still hour let steal to me. 

Yea, many a thought to me flow'd there, 
musing its charm so clad in clay. 
O earth ! thou marrest a merry theme, 
Pearl mine own, without a spot. 


From spot where such rich treasure wastes 
fragrant spice must needs spring forth ; 
blossoms white and blue and red 
shine there full sheer against the sun. 
Flower and fruit shall know no flaw 
where it down drave to earth's dark mould ; 
for from dead grain each blade must grow, 
no wheat were else brought ever home. 
Each good from good is aye begun j 
so seemly a seed can never fail ; 
ne'er fragrant spice shall cease to spring 
from that precious Pearl without a spot. 



f. 39* To pat spot pat I in speche expou//, 

I entred in pat erber grene, 

In Augoste in a hy^ seysoun, 

Quen corne is coruen wyth croke^ kene. 4 

On huyle per perle hit trendeled dou 

Schadowed pis worte^ ful schyre & schene,- 

Gilofre, gyngure, & gromylyou#, 

& pyonys powdered ay by-twene. 44 

3if hit wat} semly on to sene, 
A fayr reflayr ^et fro hit flot, 
))er wonys pat worpyly, I wot & wene, 
My precious perle wyth-outen spot. 4 8 

Bifore pat spot my honde I spen[e]d, 

For care ful colde pat to me ca^t ; 

A deuely dele in my hert[e] dewned, 

Jpa^ resou sette my seluen sa^t. 5 Z 

I playned my perle p0t p*r wat^ penedf, 

Wyth fyr[cje skylle^ pat faste fa^t ; 

J^ kynde of Kryst me comfort kened, 

My wreched wylle in wo ay wra^te. 5 6 

I felle vpon pat flowry fla3t, 

Suche odowr to my herne^ schot, 

I slode vpon a slepy/zg-sla^te, 

On pat pr/rc[i]os perle wyt^-outen spot. 60 


Unto the spot I picture forth 
I entered into that garden green ; 
'twas August, at a festal tide, 
when corn is cut with keen-edg'd hook. ^ c 
The mound my Pearl had roll'd adown 
with herbs was shadow'd, beauteous, bright,- 
gilvers, ginger, and gromwell-seed, 
and peonies powderM all about. 
But if the sight was sweet to see, 
fair, too, the fragrance floating thence, 
where dwelleth that glory, I wot full well, 
my precious Pearl without a spot. 


Before that spot my hands I clasp'd, 

for care full cold that seized on me ; 

a senseless moan dinned in my heartf 

though Reason bade me be at p 

I plain'd my Pearl, imprison'd there, 

with wayward words that fiercely fought ; 

though Christ Himself me comfort show'd, \s **" 

my wretched will worked aye in woe. 

I fell upon that flowery plat ; 

such fragrance flash'd into my brain, 

I slid into a slumber-swoon 

o'er that precious Pearl without a spot. 



FRO spot my spyryt per sprang in space, 
My body on balke per bod in sweuen ; 
My goste is gon in Gode^ grace 
In auenture p<?r meruayle^ meuen. 64 

I ne wyste in pis worlde quere p#t hit wace, 
Bot 'I knew me keste ]>er klyfe^ cleuen ; 
To-warde a foreste I bere pe face, 
Where rych[e] rokke^ wer to dyscreuen ; 68 
)}e ly^t of hem my$t no mon leuen, 
)2e glemande glory pat of hem gle/zt ; 
For wern neiur webbe^ pat wy^e^ weuen 
Of half so dere adub[be]mente. 7 Z 


f. 40* Dubbed wern alle po downe^ syde^ 
Wyt^ crystal klyfFe^ so cler of kynde ; 
Holte-wode^ bry^t aboute hem byde^, 
Of bolle^ as blwe as ble of ynde ; 76 

As bornyst syluer pe lef onslyde^, 
})at pike con trylle on vch a tynde ; 
Quen glem of glode^ agayn^ hem glyde^, 
Wyth schym^ry/zgschenefulschryllepay schynde; 
)?e grauayl pat [I] on groiwde con grynde 81 
Wern pr<?cioj- perle^ of Oryente ; 
}2e su/zne-beme^ bot bio & blynde 
In respecte of pat adubbement. 84 



THENCE, from that spot, my spirit sprang ; 
my body lay in trance on mound ; 

my soul, by grace of God, had fared 

adventuring, where marvels be. 

I knew not where that region was ; 

I was cast, I knew, where cliffs rose sheer. 

Towards a forest I set my face, 

where rocks so rich were to descry, 
that none can trow how rich the light, 
the gleaming glory glinting thence, 
for ne'er a web that mortals wove 
was half so wondrously bewrought. 

Wondrously the hill-sides shone 
with crystal cliffs that were so clear ; 
and all about were holt-woods bright, 
with boles as blue as hue of Inde ; 
and close-set leaves on every branch 
as burnish'd silver sway'd and swung ; 
when glided 'gainst them glinting gleams, 
splendent they shone with shimmering sheen ; 

and the gravel I ground upon that strand 

were precious pearls of Orient ; 

the sunbeams were but dim and dark, 

if set beside that wondrous glow ! 

io PERLE. 


The adubbemente of po downe} dere 

Garten my goste al greffe for-^ete ; 

So frech flauore^ of fryte^ were, 

As fode hit con me fayre refete ; 

Fowle^ ]>er flowen in fryth in fere, 

Of flauwzbande hwe^, bope smale & grete ; 

Bot sytole-stryg & gytmiere 

Her reken myrpe mo^t not retrete ; 9 Z 

For quen pose brydde^ her wynge^ bete, 

J2ay songen wyth a swete asent ; 

So grac[/]os gle coupe no mon gete 

As here & se her adubbement. 9 6 


So al wat} dubbet on dere asyse 

)}at fryth per fortwne forth me fere}, 

J)e derpe per-of for to deuyse 

Nis no wy} worpe J?at tonge bere^. too 

I welke ay forth in wely wyse ; 

No bonk so byg Ipat did me dere^ ; 

fie fyrre in pe fryth pe feir]er con ryse 

)?e playn, pe plontte^, pe spyse, pe pere^, 104 

& rawe^ & rande^ & rych reuere^, 

As fyldor fyn her b[o]nkes brent. 

I wan to a water by schore pat schere^,- 

Lorde, dere wat^ hit adubbement ! 108 

PEARL. ii 


'Mid the magic of those wondrous hills 

my spirit soon forgot all grief; 

flavours of fruit so fresh were there, 

as food full well they gave me strength ; 

birds in the wood together flew, 

of flaming hues, both small and great ; 

nor citole-string nor citherner 

could e'er re-tell their goodly glee ; 

for when those birds did beat their wings, 
they sang with such a sweet accord, 
no rapture could so stir a man 
as to hear and see that wonderment. 


All was so dight in wondrous wise, 
no tongue of man hath power to tell 
the beauty of that forest-land, 
where fortune led me on and on. 
Still forth I pressed in blissful mood ; 
no hill, though high, might hinder me. 
Deeper in wood, more fair arose 
plains and plants and spice and fruits, 

hedgerows and borders, and river-meads ; 

as fine gold-thread were their steep banks. 

A water I reach'd that cleft the strand,- 

Lord, how wondrous was the sight ! 

12 PERLE. 

f. 40*5 The dubbemente of po derworth depe 
Wern bonke} bene of beryl bry}t ; 
Swangeande swete pe water con swepe, 
Wyth a rownande rourde raykande ary}t ; n* 
In ]?e fouce \er stonden stone} stepe, 
As glente )>ur} glas pat glowed & gly}t, 
A[s] stremande sterne}, quen strope-me/z slepe, 
Staren in welkyn in wynter ny}t ; "6 

For vche a pobbel in pole Jjer py}t 

Wat} emerad, saffer, olper gewme gente, 

})at alle ]?e lo^e lemed of ly^t, 

So dere wat} hit adubbemet. 120 


THE dubbemewt dere of dou & dale}, 
Of wod & water & wlonk[e] playne}, 
Bylde in me blys, abated my bale}, 
For-didden my stresse, dystryed my payne}. 124 
Dou after a strem J?at dry}ly hale} 
I bowed in blys, bred-ful my brayne} ; 
)}e fyrre I fol}ed pose floty vale}, 
)pe more strengh J>e of ioye my n herte str ay ne} . 128 
As fortune fares Jw-as ho frayne}, 
Whe]j<rr solace ho sende olpfr elle} sore, 
)pe wy} to wham her wylle ho wayne} 
Hytte} to haue ay more & more. is 2 

PEARL. 1.3 

The marvels of that wondrous flood ! 

Beauteous its banks with beryl bright ; 

with music sweet its waters swept ; 

with whispering voice it wander'd on. 

And in the depths shone glittering stones ; 

as glint through glass they glimmer'd and glowM; 

as streaming stars in the welkin shine 

on a winter night, when dalesmen sleep. 
Each pebble set there in that pool 
was an emerald, sapphire, or goodly gem, 
that all the water with light did gleam, - 
the glamour was so wondrous rare ! 

III. xi. 

THE wondrous glamour of down and dale, 
of wood and water and noble plain, 

stirr'd in me bliss, my bale allay'd,^ 

scatter'd sorrow, pain destroyed. 

Along a stream I wended in joy, 

slowly it flow'd,-my mind was full ; 

the farther I follow'd those watery vales-, 

the mightier joy constrained my heart. 
Fortune fareth where she listeth, 
sends she solace, or sends she care ; 
the wight on whom her will she worketh 
hath ever chance of more and more. 



More of wele wat^ in pat wyse 

J)e I cowpe telle pa} [torn I] hade ; 

For vrpely herte my^t not sufFyse 

To pe tenpe dole of po Gladne} glade ; '3 6 

For-py I po^t p<zt Paradyse 

Wat} per o[u]d>r gayn po bonke} brade ; 

I hoped }>e water were a deuyse 

By-twene [mere}] by [Myrpe] made ; H 

By-}onde pe broke, by slente olper slade, 
I hope[d] Ipat mote merked wore ; 
Bot )>e water wat3 depe, I dorst not wade, 
& eiur me longed a[y] more & more. 144 


f. 4ia More & more, & ^et wel mare, 

Me lyste to se J?e broke by-^onde ; 
For, if hit wat^ fayr ]>er I con fare, 
Wel loueloker wat^ pe fyrre londe. J 4 8 

Abowte me con I stote & stare, 
To fynde a forpe faste con I fonde ; 
Bot wope^ mo i-wysse ]>er ware, 
Jje fyrre I stalked by pe stronde ; 15* 

& euer me jjo^t I schulde not wonde 
For woQ?e], per wele^ so wyne wore ; 
)5ene nwe note me com on honde, 
Jpat meued my mynde ay more & more. 156 



More was of wealth there, of this kind, 
than I could tell, were leisure mine, 
for earthly heart might not attain 
unto the tenth of that glad Joy. 
Certes, methought that Paradise 
lay there beyond, o'er those broad banks. 
The stream was some device, I trow'd, 
Sir Mirth had made between great wells ; 
beyond the brook, by hill or dale, 
the castle-bounds, I trow'd, were mark'd; 
but the water was deep, I durst not wade, 
and ever long'd I, more and more. 


More and more, and yet still more, 

I long'd to see beyond the brook ; 

for if 'twas fair where I then pass'd, 

far fairer was the farther land. 

About me stumbled I and stared ; 

to find a ford full hard I sought ; 

but perils more, iwis, there were, 

the further I stalk'd along the bank ; 
and ever methought I could not flinch, 
afeard, where wealth so winsome was ; 
when new delights at hand were nigh, 
that moved my mind, e'en more and more. 

16 PERLE. 


More meruayle con my dom adaut ; 

I se$ by^onde pat myry mere 

A crystal clyfTe ful relusauwt ; 

Mony ryal ray con fro hit rere. 160 

At pe fote Iper-of Iper sete a fauwt, 

A mayden of menske, ful debonere ; 

Blysnande whyt wat$ hyr bleau/zt ; 

I knew hyr wel, I hade sen hyr ere. 164 

As glysnande golde pat man con schere, 

So schon pat schene an-vnder schore ; 

On lengh<? I loked to hyr pere ; 

Jpe lenger, I knew hyr more & more. 168 


The more I frayste hyr fayre face, 
Her fygure fyn quen I had fonte, 
Suche gladande glory con to me glace 
As lyttel byfore perto wat} wonte. 172 

To calle hyr lyste con me enchace, 
Bot baysmet gef myn hert a bruwt ; 
I se^ hyr in so strange a place, 
Such a burre my^t make my herte blut. i? 6 
jpene vere^ ho vp her fayre frout, 
Hyr vysayge whyt as playn yuore, 
jpat stonge my/z hert, ful stray a[sjtout, 
& eutfr pe lenger, pe more & more. 180 



More marvels then did daunt my soul ; 

I saw beyond that merry mere 

a crystal cliff that shone full bright, 

many a noble ray stood forth ; 

at the foot thereof there sat a child, - 

so debonair, a maid of grace ; 

glistening white was her rich robe ; 

I knew her well, I had seen her ere. 
As gleaming gold, refin'd and pure, 
so shone that glory 'neath the cliff ; 
long toward her there I look'd, 
the longer, I knew her more and more. 


The more I scann'd her face so fair, 
her beauteous form when I had found, 
such gladdening glory came to me 
as seldom had been wont to come. 
Longing me seized to call her name, 
but wonder dealt my heart a blow ; 
I saw her in so strange a place, 
well might the shock mine heart appal. 
Then lifted she her visage fair, 
as ivory pure her face was white ; 
it thrill'd mine heart, struck all astray, 
and ever the longer, more and more. 

1 8 PERLE. 

IV. xvr. 

f. 41* Tt /TORE }>en me lyste my drede arcs ; 
J.V.L I stod ful stylle & dome not calle ; 
Wyth y^en open & mouth ful clos, 
I stod as hende as hawk in halle. 184 

I hope[dj Ipat gostly wat^ ]>at porpose ; 
I dred on-ende quat schulde byfalle, 
Lest ho me eschaped ]?at I Iper chos, 
Er 1 at steuen hir mo^t stalle. 188 

)?at gracios gay wyt/6-outen galle, 

So smo]?e, so smal, so seme sly^t, 

Ryse^ vp in hir araye ryalle, 

A p/vc[/]os pyece in perle^ py^t. 19* 


Perle^ py^te of ryal prys 
J)ere mo^t mon by grace haf sene, 
Quen ]?at frech as flor-de-lys 
Dou// pe bonke con bo^e by-dene. J 9^ 

Al blysnande whyt wat} hir beau mys, 
Vpon at syde^, & bou/zden bene 
Wyth J>e myryeste margarys, at my deuyse, 
))at eu^-r I se^ ^et with myn [ene] ; 200 

Wyth lappe^ large, I wot & I wene, 
Dubbed with double perle & dy^te ; 
Her cortel of self sute schene, 

prvcios perle^ al vmbe-py^te. i4 

PEARL. 19 

IV. xvi. 

MORE than me pleased was now my dread ; 
I stood full still, I dared not speak ; 

with open eyes and fast-closed mouth, 

I stood as gentle as hawk in hall. 

A ghostly vision I trow'd it was ; 

I dreaded what might there betide, 

lest what I saw should me escape 

ere I it held within my reach ; 

when, lo ! that spotless child of grace, 
so smooth, so small, so sweetly slight, 
arose in all her royal array,- 
a precious piece, bedight with pearls. 


Choicest pearls, of sovereign price, 
favoured mortal there might see, 
when all as fresh as a fleur-de-lys 
adown that bank she came anon. 
Gleaming white was her surcoat fine, 
open at sides, and nobly edged 
with pearls, the merriest, I trow, 
that e'er I saw yet with mine eyes^j 
ample the sleeves, I ween and wot, 
with double braid of pearl bedeck'd ; 
her beauteous kirtle, matching well, 
with precious pearls was all bedight. 

20 PERLE. 


A py^t coroune ^et wer )>at gyrle, 

Of mariorys & non olper ston, 

Hi^e pynakled of cler quyt perle, 

Wyth flurted flowre^ perfet vpon. oS 

To bed hade ho non olper werle ; 

Her [h]ere [h]eke al hyr vmbe-gon ; 

Her semblaut sade, for doc ojxrr erle ; 

Her ble more bla^t peri whalle^ bon. *i* 

As schorne golde schyr her fax J>e/me schon, 

On schyldere} )>at legh<? vnlapped ly^te ; 

Her depe colour }et wonted non 

Of pra:ios perle i porfyl py^te. *i6 


Py^t wat^ poyned & vche a hemme, 

At honde, at syde$, at ouerture, 

Wyth whyte perle & non o]>er gemme, 

& bornyste quyte wat^ hyr uesture ; *o 

Bot a wonder perle, wyt^-outen wemme, 

In mydde} hyr breste wat^ sette so sure ; 

A ma/me} dom mo^t dry^ly demme, 

Er mynde mo^t malte in hit mesure. **4 

I hope no tong[e] mo^t endure 

No sau/rly saghe say of ]>at sy^t, 

So wat3 hit clene & cler & pure, 

pat p/vcios perle ]>er hit wat^ py^t. * 

PEARL. 21 


A crown that maiden wore, bedight 

with margarites, and no stone else ; 

high pinnacled with clear white pearls, 

with figured flowers wrought thereon. 

No other tire was on her head ; 

her hair, too, hung about her neck ; 

her look was grave, as duke's or earl's ; 

whiter than whale-bone was her hue. 
Bright as clear gold her tresses shone, 
loose on her shoulders they softly lay ; 
her glowing beauty had no lack 
of precious pearls on broid'ry dight. 


The hems and wristbands were bedight, 
at the hands, at sides, at openings, 
with white pearl, and none other gem ; 
and burnish'd white her vesture was ; 
but a wondrous pearl, without a flaw, 
amid her breast was firmly set ; 
soul of man would surely fail 
ere mortal mind might mete its worth. 
No tongue might e'er avail, I trow, 
that sight to tell in fitting word, 
so fair was it, and clear, and pure, 
that precious pearl, where it was dight. 

22 PERLE. 


Py^t in perle, ]?at pr<?cios py[ec]e 

On wy]w-half water com doun J>e schore ; 

No gladder gome hepen in-to Grece, 

)?ew I, quen ho on brywzme wore ; 23* 

Ho wat^ me nerre pen aute or nece ; 

My joy for-py wat^ much pe more. 

Ho p[ro]fered me speche, Jwrt special sp[e]ce, 

Enclynande lowe in wowmon lore ; 23 6 

Ca^te of her corouw of grete tresore, 

& haylsed me wyth a lote ly^te. 

Wei wat} me Ipat euer I wat^ bore, 

To sware Jat swete in perle^ py^te. 2 4o 

V. xxi. 

PERLE," qwo)> I, " in perle^ py^t, 
Art )>0u my perle )?at I haf playned, 

Regretted by my one, on ny^te ? 

Much longey/?g haf I for pe layned, ^44 

Sy)?en into gresse fou me agly^te ; 

Pensyf, payred, I am for-payned, 

& pou in a lyf of lykyg ly^te 

In Paradys erde, of stryf vnstrayned. M 8 

What wyrde hat^ hyder my iuel vayned, 
& don me in J>ys del & gret dauwger ? 
Fro we in twywne wern towen & twayned, 
I haf ben a joyle^ juelere." 252 

PEARL. 23 


Bedight with pearls, that precious thing 

came down the shore beyond the stream ; 

from here to Greece no gladder man \ s 

than I, when she was at the brink. 

She was me nearer than aunt or niece, 

wherefore my joy was much the more. 

ProfFer'd me speech that creature rare, 

inclining low in womanly wise ; 

her crown of richest worth she dofPd, 
and hail'd me with obeisance blithe. 
Well was me that e'er I was born, 
to answer that Sweet, in pearls bedight. 


PEARL ! " quoth I, "bedight in pearls, 
art thou my Pearl, that I have plain'd, 
bewept by me, so lone, a-night ? 
Much longing have I. borne for thee, 
since into grass thou hence didst glide ; 
pensive, broken, forpined am I ; 
but thou hast reach'd a life of joy, 
in the strifeless home of Paradise. 

What fate hath hither brought my jewel, 

and me in dolorous plight hath cast ? 

Since we were sunder'd and set apart, 

a joyless jeweller I have been." 

24 PERLE. 


f. 42$ That juel pene, in gewme^ gente, 

Vered vp her vyse wyt/6 y^en graye, 

Set on hyr corouw of perle orient, 

& soberly after pe/me con ho say:- *S 6 

" S;>, ^e haf your tale myse-tente, 

To say yowr perle is al awaye, 

)}at is in cofer so comly clente, 

As in pis gardyn gracios gaye, 260 

Here-ine to lenge for ever & play, 
)}er mys nef morny/zg com neu#- [n]ere ; 
Her were a forser for pe in faye, 
If pou were a gentyl jueler. 264 


" Bot, jueler gente, if J>ou schal lose 

Jpy ioy for a gewme J>at fe wat^ lef, 

Me ]>ynk fe put i a mad porpose, 

& busye^ ]?e aboute a raysou/z bref ; 268 

For pat )>0u leste^ wat^ bot a rose, 

)}at flowred & fayled as kynde hyt gef ; 

Now Jnir} kynde of J)e kyste ]>at hyt con close 

To a perle of prys hit is put in pref. *7 2 

& pou hat$ called }>y wyrde a pef, 

Jpat o^t of no^t hat^ mad ]?e cler ; 

pou blame} pe bote of )>y meschef, 

])ou art no kynde jueler." 2 7 6 

PEARL. 25 


That jewel there, so fair begemm'd, 
up-rais'd her face, her eyes so grey, 
put on her crown of Orient pearl, 
and thus full gravely then she spake : 
" Sir, thou hast misread thy tale, 
to say thy Pearl is all perdu, 
that is in chest so comely and strong 
as in this garden of grace and glee ; 

for ever to dwell and play herein, 

where miss and mourning come never nigh ; 

this were thy treasure-hold, i* faith, 

wert thou a gentle jeweller. 


" But, gentle sir, if thou must lose 

thy joy for a gem that to thee was dear, 

thou'rt set, methinks, on mad intent, ^ ^^ 

and carest for too brief a cause : ^ \pjj> 

what thou didst lose was but a rose, 

that flower'd and fail'd, as Nature bade ; 

through the casket's grace, enclosing it, 

it now is proved a pearl of price. 

And thou hast call'd thy fate a thief, 

that ought from nought hath made for thee; 

thou blamest the balm of all thine ill, 

thou art a graceless jeweller." 

26 PERLE. 


A juel to me fen wat} fys geste, 

& iuele} wern hyr getyl sawe^. 

" I-wyse," qwof I, " my blysfol beste, 

My grete dystresse fou al to-drawe}. 280 

To be excused I make requeste ; 

I trawed my perle don out of dawe} ; 

Now haf I fonde hyt, I schal ma feste, 

& wony wj>t^> hyt in schyr wod-schawe}, 284 
& loue my Lorde & al his lawe}, 
J?at hat} me bro}[t] fys blys[se] ner. 
Now were I at yow by-}onde fise wawe}, 
I were a ioyfol jueler ! " 288 


" Jueler," sayde fat gewme clene, 

Wy borde ^e men ? So madde ^e be ! 
re worde^ hat} Ipou spoken at ene ; 
i-a-vysed, for-sofe, wern alle j^e ; 292 

])OM ne woste in worlde quat on dot} mene, 

})y worde by-fore fy wytte con fle. 

])o\a says you trawe} me in Ipis dene, 

By-cawse Ipou may wjt^ y}en me se ; -96 

Anof^r ]>ou says, in ]>ys couwtre 
})y self schal won wjt/> me ry}t here ; 
Jje frydde, to passe J>ys wat<?r fre, 
jpat may no ioyfol jueler. 3 

PEARL. 27 


A jewel to me was then this guest, 

and jewels were her gentle words. 

" Indeed," quoth I, " blest dearest mine, 

my dire distress away thou draw'st. 

I make request to be excused ; 

I trow'd my Pearl had pass'd from Day ; 

but now 'tis found, I shall make mirth, 

and dwell with it in radiant groves, 

and praise my Lord and all His Jaws, 

who hath me brought this bliss anigh. 

Were I with thee beyond these waves, 

I were a joyful jeweller ! " 


" Jeweller ! " said that purest gem, 
" Why jest ye men ? So mad ye are ! 
Three words thou spakest at one time ; 
thoughtless, forsooth, were all the three ; 
thou knowest not what one doth mean ; 
surely thy words outrun thy wit. 
Thou sayest, thou deemest me in this dale, 
because thou seest me with thine eyes ; 

again, thou sayest, that in this land 

thyself wilt dwell with me e'en here ; 

thirdly,-this stream would' st freely pass; 

this may no joyful jeweller. 

28 PERLE. 

VI. xxvi 

" T HALDE pat iueler lyttel to prayse, 

JL Jpat l[e]ue^ wel p#t he se^ wyth y^e, 
& much to blame & vn-cort[a]yse, 
j?at l[e]ue} oure Lorde wolde make a ly^e, 34 
J}at lelly hy^te your lyf to rayse, 
J}a$ fortune dyd yoz/r flesch to dy^e. 
3e setten hys worde^ ful westernays, 
j?at l[e]ue^ no pyk bot ^e hit sy^e ; 308 

& pat isf a poyt o sorquydry^e, 

|?at vche god mon may euel byseme, 

To leue no tale be true to try^e, 

Bot pat hys one skyl may dem[e]. 3 12 


" Deme now py self, if pou con dayly 

As man to God worde^ schulde heue ; 

Jpou sayt^ pou schal won in pis bayly ; 

Me pynk pe burde fyrst aske leue ; 316 

& ^et of grauwt pou my^te^ fayle. 

Jpou wylne^ ou^r pys water to weue; 

Er moste pou ceuer to op^r cousayl[e] ; 

jty corse in clot mot calder keue ; 3 20 

For hit wat3 for-garte at Paradys greue ; 

Oure ^ore- fader hit con mysse^eme ; 

Jpur^ drwry deth 003 vch ma dreue, 

Er ourr pys dam hym Dry^tyw deme." 324 

PEARL. 29 

VI. xxvi. 

" T HOLD that jeweller little j:oj>ajse 

JL that trusteth what with eye he seeth, 
and much to blame and graceless he 
that thinketh our Lord would speak a lie, 
who leally promised to raise thy life, 
though fortune gave thy flesh to death. 
Full widdishins thou read'st His words, 
that trowest nought but what thou seest ; 

and 'tis an overweening thing, 

that ill beseems each righteous man, 

to trow no tale be trustworthy, 

save his mere reason deem it so. 


" Deem now thyself, if thou hast dealt 
such words as man to God should lift. 
Thou sayest thou wilt dwell in this burgh ; 
'twere meet, methinks, first to ask leave ; 
and yet thou mightest miss the boon. 
Thou wishest, too, to cross this stream ; 
first must thou reach another goal,- 
colder thy corse must cling in clay ; 

'twas forfeit in grove of Paradise ; 

our forefather ill guarded it ; 

through dreary death each man must pass, 

ere God deem right he cross this flood." ' 

30 PERLE. 


f. 43*5 " Deme} )?0u me," quo]) I, " my swete, 

To dol agayn, pe/me I dowyne. 

Now haf I fonte pat I for-lete, 

Schal I efte for-go hit, er euer I fyne ? 3*8 

Why schal I hit bope mysse & mete ? 

My pn?cios perle dot} me gret pyne ! 

What serue^ tresor hot garef men grete, 

When he hit schal efte wjyt^ tene} tyne ? 33* 
Now rech I neuer for to declyne, 
Ne how fer of folde pat man me fleme. 
When I am partle} of perlef myne, 
Bot durande doel what may men deme ? " 33 6 


" Thow deme^ no^t hot doel dystresse," 

fienne sayde J>at wy^t ; ** why dot^ Ipou so ? 

For dyne of doel of lure^ lesse 

Ofte mony mon for-gos J)e mo ; 340 

J)e o^te better ]?y seluen blesse, 

& loue ay God, [in] wele & wo, 

For anger gayne} pe not a cresse ; 

Who nede^ schal pole, be not so ]?ro. 544 

For )x>3 ]>ou dauwce as any do, 
Brauwdysch & bray J>y brafe^ breme, 
When pou no fyrre may, to ne fro, 
)5ou moste abyde pat he schal deme. 348 


PEARL. 31 


" Doomest thou me," quoth I, " my Sweet, 

to dole again, I pine away. 

Now have I found what I had lost, 

must I forgo it, ere ever I end ? 

Why must I it both meet and miss ? 

My precious Pearl doth me great pain ! 

What serveth treasure but tears to make, 

if one must lose it soon with woe ? 
Now reck I ne'er how low I droop, 
how far men drive me from my land ; 
when in my Pearl no part is mine, 
what is my doom but endless moan ? " 


" Thou deem'st of nought but doleful grief," 

said then that maid ; " why dost thou so ? 

Through din of dole for losses small 

many a man oft loseth more. 

Rather shouldst thou cross thyself, 

and praise aye God, in woe and weal ; 

anger avails thee not a cress ; 

who needs must bow, be not so bold ; 
for though thou dance as any doe, 
chafe and cry in fiercest ire, 
since, to or fro, no way thou mak'st, 
thou must abide what He shall deem. 

32 PERLE. 

" Deme Dry^tyn, euer hym adyte 

Of )?e way a fote ne wyl he wryfe ; 

\)y mende} mouwte} not a myte, 

\)a$ Ipou for sor^e be neiurr blyj>e. 35* 

Styt| of J>y strot & fyne to flyte, 

& sech hys bly)>e ful swefte & swyfe ; 

})y prayer may hys pyte byte, 

)3at Mercy schal hyr crafte} kype. 356 

Hys comforte may py langowr lyfe, 
[]>at alle] J)y lure} of Iy3tly leme ; 
For, marre[d] olper madde, morne & my]?e, 
Al lys in hym to dy^t & deme." 360 


f. 44* ^T^HENNE demed I to pat damyselle : 

JL " Ne wor]?e no wrath pe vnto my Lorde, 
If rapely [I] raue spornande in spelle, 
My herte wat^ al wytA mysse remorde ; 3 6 4 

As wallande water got} out of welle, 
I do me ay in hys myserecorde. 
Rebuke me neu^r wjyt^ worde} felle, 
)?a} I forloyne, my dere endorde ; 3 68 

Bot [k]ype} me kyndely your coumforde, 

Pytosly Jjenkande vpon ]?ysse, 

Of care & me }e made acorde, 

}?at er wat} grounde of alle my blysse. 37 2 

PEARL. 33 


" Doom thou the Lord ! Arraign Him still ! 
He will not swerve a foot from the way. 
Thy mending 'mounteth not a mite, 
though thou, for grief, be never blithe. 
Stint from thy strife, and cease to chide, 
and seek His grace full swift and sure ; 
thy prayer may His pity touch, 
and Mercy may show forth her craft. 
His solace may assuage thy grief, 
that all thy losses glance lightly off; 
for, marr'd or made, mourning and mirth, 
all lieth in Him, as He deem fit." 

VII. xxxi. 

THEN deem'd I to that damosel : 
" Let not my Lord be wroth with me, 
if wildly I rave, rushing in speech, 
my heart with mourning all was torn. 
As welling water goeth from well, 
I yield me to His mercy aye. 
Rebuke me ne'er with cruel words, 
my dear adored, e'en though I stray ; 
but show me kindly comforting, 
piteously thinking upon this,- 
of care and me thou madest accord, 
that wast of all my bliss the ground. 

34 PERLE. 


y " My blysse, my bale, ^e ban ben bope ; 

Bot much pe bygger }et wat$ my mon ; 

Fro }>ou wat$ wroken fro vch a woj>e, 

I wyste neufr quere my perle wat} gon. 37 6 

Now I hit se, now lepe^ my lo]>e ; 

& quen we departed, we wern at on ; 

God forbede we be now wro))e ! 

We meten so selden by stok o]>er ston. 3 8 

J5a^ cortaysly ^e carp[e] con, 
I am bot mol, & ma[n]ere3 mysse ; 
Bot Crystes mersy & Mary & Jon,- 
))ise arn ]?e grouwde of alle my blysse 3 8 4 


" In blysse I se )>e blypely blent, 

& I a man al mornyf mate ; 

$e take ]w-on ful lyttel tente, 

))a$ I hente ofte harme^ hate. 3 88 

Bot now I am here in your presente, 

I wolde bysech, wyth-outen debate, 

^e wolde me say in sobre asente 

What lyf 36 lede, erly & late. 39* 

For I am ful fayn fat yor astate 

Is worsen to worschyp & wele iwysse ; 

Of alle my joy ]>e hy^e gate, 

Hit is in grou/zde of alle my blysse." 39 6 

PEARL. 35 


" My bliss, my bale, hast thou been both ; 
but much the more my moan hath been ; 
since thou wast banish'd from ev'ry path, 
I wist not where my Pearl was gone. 
Now I it see, now less'neth my loss ; 
and when we parted, at one we were ; 
God forbid we be now wroth ! 
We meet so seldom by stock or stone. 

Though thou canst speak full courteously, 

I am but dust, and manners lack ; 

the mercy of Christ, and Mary, and John, 

these are the ground of all my bliss. 


" In bliss I see thee blithely blent, 
and I a man with mourning marr'd ; 
thereof thou takest little heed, 
though baleful harms befall me oft. 
But now, before thy presence here, 
I would beseech, without demur, 
that thou wouldst tell, with gentle grace, 
early and late what life thou lead'st. 

For I am glad that thine estate 

is all so changed to worth and weal ; 

the high-way this of all my joy ; 

it is the ground of all my bliss." 

36 PERLE. 


" Now blysse, burne, mot )>e bytyde ! " 

pen sayde J?at lufsouw of lyth & lere ; 

" & welcum here to walk & byde, 

For now py speche is to me dere. 4 

Mayster-ful mod & hy^e pryde, 

I hete J>e, arn heterly hated here ; 

My Lorde ne loue^ not for to chyde, 

For meke arn alle ]>at wone^ \\jrn nere. 44 

& when in hys place ]>ou schal apere, 

Be dep deuote in hoi mekenesse ; 

My Lorde )?e Lamb loue^ ay such chere, 

})at is pe grouwde of alle my blysse. 4 8 


" A blysful lyf Ipou says I lede ; 
])ou wolde^ knaw ]>er-of tye stage. 
)pow wost wel when )>y Perle con schede, 
I wat^ ful ^ong & tender of age ; 4 12 

Bot my Lorde pe Lombe, )mr$ hys God-hede, 
He toke my self to hys maryage, 
Corouwde me quene in blysse to brede, 
In lenghf of daye^ )>at euer schal wage. 4 l6 

& sesed in alle hys herytage 

Hys lef is ; I am holy hysse ; 

Hys prese, hys prys, & hys parage 

Is rote & grou/zde of alle my blysse." 420 

PEARL. 37 


" Now bliss betide thee, noble sir," 
said she, so fair of form and face, 
" and welcome here to bide and walk, 
for dear to me is now thy speech. 
Masterful mood and mighty pride, 
I tell thee, are bitterly hated here ; 
my Master loveth not to blame, 
for meek are all that dwell Him nigh. 

And when in His place appear thou must, 

in humbleness be deep devout ; 

my Lord the Lamb such cheer aye loveth ; 

He is the ground of all my bliss. 


" A blissful life thou say'st I lead, 
and thou wouldst know the state thereof : 
well know'st thou, when thy Pearl fared forth, 
of tender age, full young, was I ; 
but, through His Godhead, my Lord the Lamb 
took me in marriage unto Himself; 
crown'd me Queen, to revel in bliss, 
in length of days that ne'er shall wane ; 

and dower'd with all His heritage 

His Bride is ; I am wholly His ; 

His praise, His price, His peerless rank, 

of all my bliss are root and ground." 

3 8 PERLE. 

VIII. xxxvi. 

T) LYSFUL," qwop I, " may J>ys be trwe ? 

J3 Dysplese} not if I speke errowr. 
Art pou pe quene of heuene^ blwe, 
])at al pys worlde schal do honour ? 4H 

We leuen on Marye pat grace of grewe, 
)}at her a barne of vyrgyn flowr ; 
fte croune fro hyr quo mo^t remwe, 
Bot ho hir passed i sum fauoz/r ? 4 1 

Now, for synglerty o hyr dousowr, 

We calle hyr Fenyx of Arraby, 

))at freles fle^e of hyr fasor, 

Lyk to ]?e Quen of cortaysye." 43 2 


Cortayse Quen," pe/me s[a]yde pat gaye, 

Knelande to grou/zde, folde vp hyr face, 

" Makele} Moder & myryest May, 

Blessed Bygy/merf of vch a grace ! " 43 6 

J)ene ros ho vp & con restay, 

& speke me towarde in pat space : 

" S*r, fele here porchase^ & fonge^ pray, 

Bot supplantore^ none wyt^-i/me pys place. 44 

J^at Empmse al heue^ hat^, 

& vrpe & helle in her bayly ; 

Of erytage $et non wyl ho chace, 

For ho is Quen of cortaysye. 444 

PEARL. 39 

" T} LISSFUL," quoth !,/< may this be so ? 

JLJ Speak I amiss, be nc displeased. 
Art thou the Queen of heaves blue, 
whom all this world must htfiour now ? 
We believe in Mary, from \taom sprang grace,, 
who bore a child from virg^ flower, 
and who can take from herihe crown, 
sv>ve she excel her in some (vorth ? 

And for her peerlessness of charm 

Phrenix of Araby we h<i' call, 

the bird immaculate of form, 

like to that >ueen of Courtesy." 


" Courteous Queen ! " said then that joy, 
kneeling to earth, her face enveil'd, 
" Matchless Mother, Merriest Maid, 
Blest Beginner of every grace ! " 
Then rose she up, and there she paused, 
and spake toward me from that spot :- 
" Sir ! folk find here the prize they seek, 
but no usurpers bide herein. 

That Empress in her empire hath 
the heavens all and earth and hell ; 
from heritage yet she driveth none, 
for she is Queen of Courtesy. 

40 PERLE. 


" The coz/rt of )>i kyndom of God alyue 

Hat} a property i/.hyt self beywg ; 

Alle fat may J)er->me aryue 

Of alle ]?e reme is iuen o^er ky/zg, 44^ 

& neuer otyer ^et depryue ; 

Bot vchon fayn of tj^re} hafyg, 

& wolde her corou;^ wern wor)>e fo fyue, 

If possyble were her mendywg. 45 7 - 

Bot my Lady, of quom Jesu con spry/zg, 
Ho halde^ fe empyre over vus ful hy^e ; 
& ))at dysplese^ noi of oure gyg, 
For ho is Quene of cortaysye. 45 6 


*' Of cowrtaysye, as sayt^ Sayt P[a]ule, 
Al arn we mewbre^ of I^u Kryst ; 
As heued & arme & legg & naule 
Temen to hys body ful trwe & t[r]yste, 460 

Ry^t so is vch a Krysten saw[l]e 
A longande lym to )?e Mayster of myste. 
Jpewne loke, what hate o]>er any gawle 
Is tached olper ty^ed )>y lymme^ by-twyste ? 4 6 4 

\)j heued hat^ naujjer greme ne gryste, 

On arme o]>er fynger ^ ]?ou ber by^e. 

So fare we alle wyth luf & lyste 

To kyg & quene by cortaysye." 4 68 

PEARL. 41 


" The Court of the Kingdom of Living God 

hath in itself this property,- 

each one that may .arrive therein 

is king or queen of all the realm, 

and yet shall not deprive another ; 

L'at each is glad of others' weal, 

and would their crowns were worth five such, 

were their enhancing possible. 

But my Lady, from whom Jesu sprang, 

She holdeth empire high o'er all ; 

and this displeaseth none of our host, 

for she is Queen of Courtesy. 


" By courtesy, as saith Saint Paul, 

we all are members of Jesu Christ ; 

as head and arm and leg and trunk, 

trusty and true, their body serve, 

so is each Christian soul a limb 

that to the Lord of Might belongs. 

Lo now, what hatred or ill-will 

is fast or fix'd between thy limbs ? 

Thy head hath neither spleen nor spite, 
on arm or finger though thou bear ring. 
So fare we all in love and joy, 
by courtesy, to King and Queen." 

42 PERLE. 


/. 45* " Cortays[y]e," q*/ p I, " I leue, 
& charyte grete be yow amog ; 
Bot, my speche pat yow ne greue, 
[Me pynk pou speke^ now ful wronge ;J 472 
fry self in heuen over hy$ pou heue, 
To make pe quen pat wafc$ so ^onge. 
What more honour mo^te he acheue 
J5at hade endured in worlde stronge, 47 6 

& lyued in penau^ce hys lyue^ longe, 
Wyth bodyly bale hym blysse to byye ? 
What more worschyp 111031 h[e] fonge, 
jjen corouwde be kyg by cortays[y]e ? 480 


" npHAT cortays[y]e is to fre of dede, 

JL 3yf hyt be soth pat pou cone^ saye ; 
\)ou lyfed not two ^er in cure pede ; 
J^ouycowpe} neu<?r God naup^r plese ne pray, 484 
Ne neiur nawper Pater ne Crede ; 
& quen mad on pe fyrst[e] day ! 
I may not traw, so God me spede, 
fiat God wolde wrype so wrange away. 488 

Of countes, damysel, par ma fay, 

Wer fayr in heuen to halde asstate, 

Op^r elle^ a lady of lasse aray ; 

Bot aquene !-hit is to dere a date." 49* 

PEARL. 43 


" Courtesy," quoth I, " I grant, 
and charity great dwell in your midst ; 
but, pardon if my speech doth grieve, 
methinketh now thy words full wrong ; 
thou hast raised thyself in heaven too high, 
to make thee queen, that wast so young. 
What greater honour might he win, 
who suffered bravely in this world, 
and lived in life-long penance here, 
with bodily bale to purchase bliss ? 
What greater glory might he have 
than king be crown'd by courtesy ? 


" ' I A HIS courtesy is all too free, 

JL if it be sooth that thou hast said ; 
(thou livedst not two years in our land, s } 

G-od thou couldst not please or pray, 

and never knewest Pater nor Creed ; 

yet on the first day made a Queen ! 

I may not trow, so speed me God, 

that He would work so all amiss. 
As countess, damosel, par ma fay , 
'twere fair in heaven to hold estate, 
or as a lady of lower degree : 
but a Queen,-it is too great a goal." 

44 PERLE. 


" Jper is no date of hys god-nesse," 

\)en sayde to me fat worpy wy^te ; 

" For al is trawpe pat he con dresse, 

& he may do no )>ynk hot ry^t. 49 6 

As Mathew mele^ i your messe, 

IH sothfol Gospel of God Al-my^t, 

la-sample he can ful grayj>ely gesse, 

& lykne^ hit to heuen ly^te. 500 

' My regne,' he sayt^, is lyk on hy^t 
To a lorde ]>at hade a uyne, I wate ; 
Of tyme of ^ere ]?e terme wat} ty^t, 
To labor vyne wat^ dere pe date. 54 


" * ))at date of ^ere wel knawe [h]ys hyne ; 
}5e lorde ful erly vp. he ros 
To hyre werkmen to hys vyne, 
& fynde^ Jw su/wine to hys porpos. 5^ 

Into acorde fay con de-clyne 
For a penef a day, & forth Jray got}, 
Wryfen & worchen & don gret pyne, 
Keruen & caggen & man hit clos. 5 12 

Aboute vnder ]>e lorde to marked tot^, 
& ydel men stande he fynde^ Derate : 
Why stande }e ydel ? ' he sayde to fos ; 
4 Ne knawe ^e of fis day no date ? ' Si 6 

PEARL. 45 


" No goal, no end, His goodness hath," 

then said to me that noble gem, 

" for all is just where He doth lead ; 

He can do nought but what is right. 

As Matthew telleth in your mass, 

in God Almighty's Gospel true, 

a parable He made full well ; 

to Heaven bright He likeneth it. 

* My realm on high/ He saith, * is like 
to a lord that had a vineyard once ; 
and, lo ! the time of year was come 
when vintage was the season's goal. 


" * The season's goal his household knows ; 
and up full early rose the lord 
to hire more workmen for his vines ; 
and to his purpose findeth some. 
They enter in agreement then 
for a, penny a day, and forth they go ; 
they strain and strive and do great toil, 
they prune and bind and fasten firm. 

About noon the lord the market sought, 
and idle men found standing there. 

* Why stand ye idle ? ' he said to them, 

* Or know ye for this day no goal ? ' 

46 PERLE. 


" * < Er date of daye hider arn we wonne,' 
So wat^ al samen her answar so^t ; 
* We haf standen her syn ros pe suwne, 
& no mo bydde^ vus do ry^t no^t.' 5 20 

' Gos i-to my vyne, dot} pat ^e cowne ;' 
So sayde pe lorde, & made hit to$t :- 
What resnabelef hyre be na3t be rune 
I yow payf in dede & Jx^te.' 5 2 4 

J^ay wente i-to )>e vyne & wro3te ; 
& al day )>e lorde ]>us ^ede his gate, 
& nw[e] men to hys vyne he bro^te, 
Wel-ne^ wyl day wat^ passed date. 5 28 


" At pe [date] of [day] of euen-songe, 
On oure byfore j>e so/me go dou, 
He se$ per yd el men ful stronge, 
& sade to he[m], wjyt/> soore souw :- 53 2 

< Wy stonde ^e ydel pise daye^ longe ? ' 
J3ay sayden her hyre wat^ nawhere bouw. 
* Got^ to my vyne, ^emen ^onge, 
& wyrke^ & dot^ p^rt at ^e mouw.' 53 6 

Sone pe worlde by-corn wel brou/z, 

\)e sune wat^ dou/z, & fhit wex late ; 

To take her hyre he mad suwouw ; 

J?e day wat$ al apassed date. 54 

PEARL. 47 


" * * Ere dawn of day we hither came ; ' 
so gave they answer, one and all ; 

* we have stood here since rose the sun, 
and no man biddeth us do aught.' 

* Enter my vineyard ; do what ye can,' 
said then the lord, and made it sure,- 

* What wage is fair, by fall of night, 
I will you pay, in thought and deed/ 

They went unto his vines, and work'd ; 
and thus all day the lord went forth, 
and new men to his vineyard brought, 
well-nigh till day had pass'd its goal. 


" * Nigh goal of day, at evensong, 
one hour before the sun should set, 
strong men he saw stand idle there, 
and said to them, with earnest voice :- 
' Why stand ye idle the livelong day ? ' 
Nowhere, said they, was hire for them. 
1 Go to my vineyard, yeomen young, 
and work and do as best ye can.' 

Soon the world grew burnish'd brown ; 

the sun was down, and it waxed late ; 

to take their pay he summon'd them ; 

the day was done, its goal was pass'd. 

48 PERLE. 


f. 453 " / I ^HE date of pe daye pe lorde con knaw, 
X Called to pe reue : Lede, pay pe menyf; 

Gyf hem pe hyre pat I hem [a]we ; 

& fyrre, pat non me may repren[y], 544 

Set hem alle vpon a rawe, 

& gyf vchon i/z-lyche a peny. 

Bygyn at pe laste pat stawde^ l[a]we, 

Tyl to pe fyrste pat pou atteny.' 54 8 

& pene ]>e fyrst by-gone to pleny, 
& sayden pat pay hade trauayled sore :- 
* ftese hot on oure hem con streny ; 
VZAT pyk vus o^e to take more. 55 2 


" * ' More haf we serued, vus pyk so, 
)pat sufFred han pe daye$ hete, 
|5en pyse pat wro^t not houre^ two, 
& pou dot^ hem vus to couwterfete.' 55 6 

]?ene sayde pe lorde to onf of po :- 
* Frende^ no wani[]g I wyl pe ^ete ; 
Take pat is pyn owne & go. 
& I hyred pe for a peny a-grete, 5 6 

Quy bygyne^ pou now to prete ? 

Wat} not a pene py couenaiwt J?ore ? 

Fyrre pew couenaunde is no^t to plete. 

Wy schalte pou pe/me ask[e] more ? 5^4 

PEARL. 49 


" >~T~^HE day was done, the master knew,- 
JL called to his reeve : * Sir, pay the men ; 

give them the wage that I them owe, 

and further, that none may me reprove, 

set them all in one long line, 

and give a penny to each alike ; 

begin at the last that standeth low, 

and so until thou reach the first.' 
The first began then to complain, 
and said that they had sorely toil'd :- 
' These but an hour have strain'd their strength, 
seemeth to us we should take more. 


" * * More have we deserved, we think, 
that here have borne the heat of day, 
than these that have not work'd two hours, 
and thou dost make them equal us.' 
Then said the lord to one of them :- 
* Friend, I would not do thee wrong ; 
take what is thine own and go. 
Hired I thee for a penny withal, 

why beginnest thou now to chafe ? 

Was not a penny thy covenant then ? 

More than agreed one must not claim. 

Why shouldest thou then ask for more ? 



" * ' More,-wepr l[e]uyly is me my gyftc, 

To do wyth myn quat so me lyke^, 

O]>cr elle3 pyn y^e to lyjw is lyfte, 

For I am goude & now by-swyke^ ? ' 568 

' ])us schal I,' qH0J> Kryste, hit skyfte ; 

J?e laste schal be pe fyrst pat stryke^, 

& pe fyrst pe laste, be he neu<?r so swyft ; 

For mony ben calle[d], pa^ fewe be myke^.' $7 Z 

\>us pore men her part ay pyke^, 

)?a^ pay com late & lyttel wore ; 

& pa} her sweng wyth lyttel at-slyke^, 

\)e merci of God is much J?e more. 576 


f. 47* " More haf I of joye & blysse here-i/me, 
Of ladyschyp gret & lyue^ blom, 
J^en alle pe wy^e^ in ]>e worlde my^t wy//ne, 
By )?e way of ry^t to aske dome. 580 

Wheper welnygh now I con bygy/me, 
In euentyde in-to )>e vyne I come, 
Fyrst of my hyre my Lorde con my/me ; 
I wat^ payed anon of al & sum. 584 

^et o])er per werne ~pat toke more torn, 
J?at swange & swat for long[e] 3 ore, 
)5at ^et of hyre no pynk pay nom, 
Paraurcter no^t schal to-^ere more." 5 88 



" * Moreover,-Is it my right to give, 

to do with mine what so I please, 

or is it thine eye is bent on ill, 

since I am good, and none defraud ? ' 

Thus shall I,' quoth Christ, ordain : 

the last shall be the first to go, 

and the first the last, be he ne'er so swift ; 

for many are called, though few the elect. ? 
Thus do the poor their portion take, 
though they come late, and low their place ; 
though, little done, their toil is spent, 
the mercy of God is much the more. 


<* More have I here of joy and bliss, 
of ladyship great and bloom of life, 
than all the men in the world might win, 
ask'd they award by way of right. 
Though, well-nigh now, I late began, 
at even to the vineyard came, 
first of my hire my Lord bethought ; 
I was paid anon the payment full. 
Others were there who had to wait, 
who sweated long before, and toil'd ; 
yet nothing got they of their hire, 
nor will perchance for long years more." 

52 PERLE. 


Then more I meled & sayde apert :- 

" Me pynk J>y tale vnresou-able ; 

Godde} ry^t is redy & eu<?r-more rert, 

O]>er Holy Wryt is hot a fable. 59* 

I/z Sauter is sayd a verce ouerte, 

J)at speke^ a poy/zt determynable :- 

* ])ou quyte} vchon as hys desserte, 

})O\L hy^e Kyg, ay p[n?]termynable. J 59 6 

Now he pat stod J?e long day stable, 
& }>ou to payment com hym byfore, 
J?e//ne Jje lasse i werke to take more able, 
& euer pe lenger J)e lasse fe more." 600 


more & lasse in Gode^ ryche," 
J)at gentyl sayde, " lys no joparde, 
For per is vch mon payed inlyche, 
Wheper lyttel olper much be hys rewarde. 604 
For pe gentyl Cheuentayn is no chyche, 
Quejw-so-eiUT he dele nesch op<?r harde ; 
He laue^ hys gyfte^ as wat^r of dyche, 
Olper gote^ of golf pat neu^r chaf de. 608 

Hys frauwchyse is large Jwt eu^r dard 

To hym pat mat} in syne rescogta ; 

No blysse befr$ fro hem reparde, 

For pe grace of God is gret i-nogh<?. 612 

PEARL. 53 

Then said I more, and boldly spake' :- 

" Thy tale me seemeth reasonless : 

God's right is ready, raised eterne, 

or Holy Writ is but a fable. 

In Psalter is said a verse full clear, 

putting, as point determined, this :- 

1 Each Thou requitest as his desert, 

Thou High King, ever fore-ordained ! ' 
Now he who all day steadfast stood,- 
if thou to payment come ere he, 
then the less the work, the more the pay, 
and ever the longer the less the more." 

XI. LI. 

IXT more and less in God's own 

that Gentle said, "lies no debate ; 
for there is each man paid alike, 
whether little or much be his reward. 
That gentle Chieftain is no niggard, 
whether His dole be hard or soft ; 
He poureth His gifts as water from weir, 
or streams of the deep that never turn. 

Large is his freedom who hath fear'd 

'fore Him that rescueth in sin ; 

no bliss shall be withheld from such ; 

the grace of God is great enough. 

54 PERLE. 


f. 47-5 " Bot now ]>ou mote} me for to mate, 

pat I my peny haf wrang tan herg.;, , 

pou say} pat I pat com to late 

Am not worpy so gret [h]ere. 616 

Where wyste} pou euer any bourne abate, 

Euer so holy in hys prayere, 

pat he ne forfeted by suwkyn gate 

pe mede sum-tyme of heuene} clere ? 620 

& ay pe ofter, Jje alder pay were, 
pay laften ry}t & wro}ten woglv. 
Mercy & grace moste hem pe stere, 
For pe grace of God is gret iw-no^e. 6 M 


" Bot i-nogh(? of grace hat} iwnocent ; 

As sone as pay am borne, by lyne 

In pe water of babtem pay dyssente ; 

])e arne pay boro^t i-to pe vyne. 6 *8 

Anon pe day, wjyt derk endente, 

Jpe my^t of deth dot} to en-clyne 

pat wro^t neuer wrang er pewne pay wente. 

]pe gentyle Lorde pene paye} hys hyne ; 632 

pay dyden hys heste, pay wern pere-ine ; 

Why schulde he not her labour alow, 

3ys, & pay h[e]m at pe fyrst[ej fyne ? 

For pe grace of God is gret i-nogh<?. 3 66 

PEARL. 55 


" Yet now thou mootest, to checkmate .me, 

that I my penny have wrongly ta'en : 

thou sayest that I, who came too late, 

am not worth so great a wage. 

Where knewest thou any man abide, 

ever so holy in his prayer, 

who ne'er, in some way, forfeited 

the meed, some time, of heaven bright ? 

And aye the ofter, the older they were, 

left they the right, and wrought amiss ; 

Mercy and Grace must pilot them ; 

The grace of God is great enough. 


" But grace enough have innocents ; 
as soon as they are born, by rule 
in the water of baptism they descend ; 
then are they to the vineyard brought. 
Anon the day, with darkness fleck'd, 
unto Death's might doth make them bow 
who ne'er wrought wrong ere thence they went. 
The gentle Lord His folk then payeth ; 

they did His will, they were therein. 

Why should He not allow their hire, 

yea, pay them at the first day's close? 

The grace of God is great enough. 

56 PERLE. 


,/ " I-no^e is knawen ]>at man-kyn grete 
Fyrste.wat^ wro^t to blysse parfyt ; 
Oure forme fader hit con forfete, 
Jpur^ an apple pat he vpon con byte ; 640 

Al wer we dampned for pat mete 
To dy3e in doel, out of delyt, 
& sypen wende to helle hete, 
\)er-inne to won wjyt/^oute respyt. 644 

Bot per on- com a bote as tyt ; 

Ryche blod ran on rode so rogh^, 

& wy/me water ; pe at pat plyt 

Jpe grace of God wex gret i-nogh<?. 648 

f. 48* " In-nogh<? per wax outf of pat welle, 

Blod & water of brode wouwde ; 

J?e blod vus bo$t fro bale of helle, 

& delyu^red vus of pe deth secoude ; 652 

))e water is baptem, pe sope to telle 

})at folded pe glayue so grywzly groude, 

))at wasche^ away pe gylte^ felle 

J?at Adam wyth inf deth vus droude. 656 

Now is pr no^t in pe worlde roude 
By-twene vus & blysse bot pat he wjyt 
& pat is restored in sely stoude ; 
& pe grace of God is gret i-nogh. 

PEARL. 57 


" Enough is known, how mankind great 

first was wrought for perfect bliss ; 

our fore-father it forfeited, 

through an apple that he bit upon. 

And for that morsel were we damn'd 

to die in dolour, afar from joy, 

and thence to fare to heat of hell, 

there to abide, with respite none. 
But soon came there the antidote ; 
on rood so rough ran richest blood 
and winsome water ; then, in that plight, 
the grace of God wax'd great enough. 


" Enough from out that well there flow'd, 
blood and water, from wound so wide : 
from bale of hell the blood us bought, 
and ransom'd us from second death ; 
the water is baptism, sooth to say, 
that follow'd the glaive so grimly ground, 
that washeth away the guilt so fell 
that Adam drown'd us with in death. 

Now is there nought in this round world 

'twixt us and bliss but what He withdrew ; 

all is restored in one fair hour. 

The grace of God is great enough. 

58 PERLE. 


RACE i-nogh pe mon may haue 

J)at sy/me^ pe/me new, $if hyw repente, 
Bot wyt/5 sor^ & syt he mot hit craue, 
& byde pe payne per-to is bent ; 664 

Bot rescue, of ry^t pat con not raue, 
Saue^ eu^r-more pe iwnossewt ; 
Hit is a dom ]>at neuer God gaue, 
j?at euer )?e gyltle3 schulde be schente. 668 

J)e gyltyf may contryssyou hente, 

& be pur^ mercy to grace pry^t ; 

Bot he to gyle pat neu<?r glente, 

At i-oscen[c]e, is saf [by] ry^te. 6yz 


)j | I knaw wel i pis cas, 
Two men to saue is god by skylle ; 
jpe ry^t-wys man schal se hys fa[c]e, 
jpe harmle^ hapel schal com hym tylle. 676 

)pe Sauter hyt sat^ Ipuf in a pace :- 
* Lorde, quo schal klymbe J>y hy^[e] hylle|, 
Otyer rest wyt^-ine py holy place ? ' 
Hymself to on-sware he is not dylle :- 680 

* Hondelywge^ harme pat dyt not ille, 
}5at is of hert bope clene & ly^t, 
)per schal hys step[pe] stable sty lie/ 
])Q inosent is ay saf by ry^t. 684 

PEARL. 59 


RACE enough a man may have 

that sinneth anew, if he repent ; 
he must it crave with sorrow and sighs, 
and bide the pain thereto is bound ; 
but Reason, straying not from right, 
saveth the innocent evermore ; 
for 'tis a doom that God ne'er gave, 
that ever the guiltless should be shamed. 

The guilty may contrition find, 

and be by Mercy led to Grace ; 

but into guile who glided ne'er, 

in innocence, is saved by right. 


" Right well I know of this same thing, 
two kinds to save is good and just, 
the righteous man His face shall see, 
the harmless one shall come Him nigh. 
Thus saith the Psalter in a verse,- 
' Lord, who shall climb Thy lofty hill, 
or rest within Thy holy place ? ' 
Himself to answer He is not slow,- 

t Whose hands in malice ne'er did hurt, 
he that is clean and pure of heart, 
there shall his step stand ever firm.' 
The innocent is saved by right. 

60 PERLE. 


f. 48^ " The ry^twys man also sertayn 
Aproche he schal tyat proper pyle, 
)}at take} not her lyf in vayne, 
Ne glauere^ her [nje^bor wyth no gyle. 688 

Of pys ry^t-wys sa^ Salamon playn 
How kyntly oure [Koyntyse hym] con aquyle ; 
By waye^ ful street he con hym strayn, 
& scheued hym pe rengne of God awhyle, 692 

As quo says * lo, ^on louely yle ! 

)}0u may hit wyne if ]>ou be wy^te.' 

Bot, hardyly, wyt^-oute peryle, 

J)e i/mosent is ay saue by ry^te. 696 


" An-ende ry^twys men ^et sayt^ a gome- 
Dauid in Sauter, if euer ^e s[y]^ hit :- 
' Lorde, py seruaut dra^ neuer to dome, 
[F]or non lyuyande to )>e is justyfyet ! ' 700 
For-])y to corte quen ]>ou schal com[e], 
Jper alle oure causey schal be [c]ryed, 
Alegge pe ry^t, pou may be i-nome, 
By )>ys ilke spech I haue asspyed. 704 

Bot he on rode pat blody dyed, 
Delfully pur^ honde^ pry^t, 
Gyue pe to passe, when ]>ou arte tryed, 
By inocens, & not by ry^te ! 708 

PEARL. 61 


" Verily, eke the righteous man 
approach shall he that noble tower,- 
who taketh not his life in vain, 
his neighbour cheateth not with guile. 
Of such saw Solomon clearly once 
how well our Wisdom welcomed him ; 
He guided him by ways full straight, 
shew'd him awhile the realm of God, 

as who should say, * Lo, yon fair place ! 

thou may'st it win, if thou be brave.' 

But, without peril, be thou sure, 

the innocent is saved by right. 

" Anent the righteous saith another, 
David in Psalter. Hast it seen ?- 
Thy servant, Lord, draw never to doom ; 
none living is justified 'fore Thee/ 
So when thou comest to the Court, 
where all our causes shall be cried, 
renounce thy right, thou mayest come in, 
by these same words that I have cull'd. 
But He that bloodily died on rood, 
whose hands were pierced so grievously, 
grant thee to pass, when tried thou art, 
by innocence and not by right ! 

62 PERLE. 

" Ry^twysly quo [so] con rede, 

He loke on bok & be awayed, 

How Jesus hym welke in are-pede, 

& burne^ her barney vnto hym brayde ; 712 

For happe & hele pat fro hym ^ede, 

To tou[c]h her chylder pay fayr hym prayed. 

His dessypele^ wyt^ blame let be h[e]m bede, 

& wyth her resource^ ful fele restayed. 716 

Jesus pe;me hem swetely sayde : 

' Do way, let chylder vnto me ty^t ; 

To suche is heuen-ryche arayed.' 

Jpe innocent is ay saf by ry^t. 720 

f. 49 TT JESUS con calle to hy/rz hys mylde, 

X & sayde hys ryche no wy^ my^t wyne 
Bot he com J>yder ry^t as a chylde, 
Otyer elle^ neu^r more com per-i/me ; 7 Z 4 

Harmle^, trwe, & vnde-fylde, 
W)/t^-outen mote ofyer mascle of sulpande syne, 
Quen such per cnoken on pe bylde, 
Tyt schal hem men pe ^ate vnpy/me. 7 28 

Jper is pe blys pat con not bly/zne, 
jpat pe jueler so^te pur^ perre pres, 
& solde alle hys goud, bope wolen & lyne, 
To bye hym a perle wat$ mascelle^. 73 Z 

PEARL. 63 

" Who knoweth to read the Book aright, 
let him look in, and learn therefrom 
how Jesus walk'd once on a time, 
and folk their bairns press'd near to Him ; 
to touch their children they Him besought, 
for hap and health that from Him came. 
His disciples sternly bade them cease ; 
and at their words full many stay'd. 
Then Jesus sweetly said to them : 
Not so ; let children draw to Me ; 
for such is heaven's realm prepared/ 
The innocent is aye saved by right. 


" TESUS call'd to Him His meek, 

J and said, no man might win His realm 
save he came thither as a child ; 
else might he never therein come ; 
harmless, undefiled, and true, 
with ne'er stain nor spot of sapping sin, 
when such come knocking on that place, 
quickly for them the bolt is drawn. 
There is the bliss that cannot fade, 
the jeweller sought 'mong precious gems, 
and sold his all, both linen and wool, 
to purchase him a spotless pearl. 

64 PERLE. 


" * This ma[s]kelle^ perle, )>at bo^t is dere, 

J)e joueler gef fore*alle hys god, 

Is lyke pe reme of heuenesf [sp]ere ; 

So sayde )>e Fader of folde & flode ; 73 6 

For hit is wewle^, clene, & clere, 

& endele^ rouwde, & bly]>e of mode, 

& cowmune to alle pat ry^twysj* were. 

Lo, euen in mydde^ my breste hit stode ! 74 

My Lorde j>e Lombe, jjat schede hys blode, 

He py^t hit pere in token of pes. 

I rede fe forsake fie worlde wode, 

& porchace J?y perle maskelles." 744 


" O maskele^ Perle, in perle^ pure, 
J)at bere^," qwof I, " ])e perle of prys, 
Quo formed ]>e J>y fayre fygure ? 
)5at wro^t ]>j wede, he wat^ ful wys ; 74 8 

)5y beaute com neu^r of nature ; 
Pymalyon paynted neu^r J)y vys ; 
Ne Arystotel nawj>r by hys lettrure 
Of carpe[d] ]?e kynde pese propertfy]^. 7S a 

\)j colowr passe^ ]>e floz/r-de-lys ; 

)}yn angel-hauywg so clene corte^ ! 

Breue me, bry^t, quat kyn of tr/y s 

Bere3 j)e perle so maskelle3 ? " 7S 6 

PEARL. 65 


" * This spotless pearl, so dearly bought, 

the jeweller gave his all therefor, 

is like the realm of Heaven's sphere ; ' 

so said the Father of field and flood ; 

for it is flawless, bright, and pure, 

endlessly round, of lustre blithe, 

and common to all that righteous were. 

Lo, its setting amid my breast ! 

My Lord the Lamb, who shed His blood, 

He set it there in token of peace. 

I rede thee forsake the world so wild, 

and get for thee thy spotless pearl. " 


" O spotless Pearl, in pearls so pure, 
that bearest," quoth I, " the pearl of price, 
who formed for thee thy figure fair ? 
He was full wise that wrought thy robe ; 
thy beauty never from Nature came ; 
Pygmalion painted ne'er thy face ; 
nor Aristotle, with all his lore, 
told of the qualities of these gifts ; 

thy colour passeth the fleur-de-lis ; 

thy angel-bearing so all debonair ! 

Tell me, Brightest, what is the peace 

that beareth as token this spotless pearl ? " 

66 PERLE. 


f. 49 " My ma[s]kele3 Lambe pat al may bete," 
Quo]) scho, " my dere Destyne, 
Me ches to hys make, al-pa} vnmete 
Sum-tyme semed p#t assemble. 7 6 

When I wente fro yor worlde wete, 
He calde me to hys borwte : 
Cum hyder to me, my lemman swete, 
For mote ne spot is non in pe. J 7 6 4 

He gef me my^t & als bewte ; 

In hys blod he wesch my wede on dese, 

&, coronde clene in wrgynte, 

[He] py$t me in perle} maskelle}." 7 68 


" Why, maskelle^ bryd, pat bry^t con flambe, 
))at reiate^ hat^ so ryche & ryf, 
Quat kyn ]>yng may be pat Lambe 
))at pe wolde wedde vnto hys vyf ? 77* 

Ouer alle op^r so hy^ ]>ou clambe, 
To lede v/y\.h hym so ladyly lyf. 
So mony a comly on-vu//der cambe 
For Kryst han lyued in much stryf ; 77 6 

& pou con alle po dere out-dry f, 

& fro pat maryag[e] al op^r depres, 

Al only pyself so stout & styf, 

A makele} may & maskelle^ ! " 7 8 

PEARL. 67 


" My spotless Lamb, Who can better all," 
quoth she, " my Destiny so dear, 
chose me His bride, though all unfit 
the Spousal might a while well seem. 
When I went forth from your wet world, 
He call'd me to His Goodliness :- 
* Come hither to Me, My truelove sweet, 
for stain or spot is none in thee.' 

He gave me strength and beauty too ; 

in His blood on the Throne He wash'd my 
weeds ; 

and, crowned clean in maidenhood, 

with spotless pearls He me beset." 


" Why, spotless Bride, that shinest bright, 

with regal glories rich and rare, 

what, forsooth, may be the Lamb, 

that thee as wife to Him would wed ? 

O'er all the rest hast thou climb' d high, 

with Him to lead so queenly a life. 

Many a fair, 'neath maiden crown, 

for Christ in mickle strife hath HVfed ; 
those dear ones thou hast all out-driven, 
and from that marriage all hast held, 
all save thyself, so strong and stiff, 
matchless maid, immaculate ! " 

68 PERLE. 


" T\/T ASKELLES " wty f at m y r y <i uene > 

J.VJL " Vnblemyst I am, wyth-outen blot, 

& pat may I v/yth mensk mewteene ; 

Bot * makele^ quene ' pe/me sade I not. 784 

fie Lambes vyue$ in blysse we bene, 

A hondred & forty [fowre] powsande flot, 

As in pe Apocalyppe^ hit is sene ; 

Sant John hem sy^ al in a knot. 788 

On pe hyl of Syon, fat semly clot, 
fie apostel hem segh in gostly drem, 
Arayed to pe weddywg in ]>at hyl-coppe, 
])e nwe cyte o Jerusalem. 79 Z 


f. $oa " Of Jerusalem I in spec he spelle. 
If j)0u wyl knaw what kyn he be 
My Lombe, my Lorde, my dere Juelle, 
My Joy, my Blys, my Lewman fre- 79 6 

fie profete Ysaye of hym con melle 
Pitously of hys de-bonerte :- 
< fiat glory ous gy[l]tle^ ]>at mon con quell e 

uten any sake of felon[e] ; 800 

As a schep to ]>e sla^t ]>er lad wat^ he ; 
&, as lombe pat clypper in lande [n]e[m], 
So closed he hys mouth fro vch quer[e], 
Quen Jue^ hyw jugged in Jerusalem f.' 804 

PEARL. 69 


"TMMACULATE," said that merry queen, 
A " unblemish'd I am, without a stain 5 

and this may I with grace avow ; 

but * matchless queen ' that said I ne'er. 

We all in bliss are Brides of the Lamb, 

a hundred and forty-four thousand in all, 

as in the Apocalypse it is clear ; 

Saint John beheld them in a throng. 

On the Hill of Zion, that beauteous spot, 
the Apostle beheld them, in dream divine, 
array'd for the Bridal on that hill-top,- 
the City New of Jerusalem. 

" Of Jerusalem is now my speech : 

If thou wouldst know what kind is He, 

my Lamb, my Lord, my dearest Jewel, 

my Joy, my Bliss, my noble Love,- 

the prophet Isaiah spake of Him, 

in pity of His gentleness,- 

* the Glorious Guiltless whom they killed 

with ne'er a cause of evil deed. 

As a sheep to the slaughter He was led ; 
as lamb the shearer taketh a-field, 
He closed His mouth 'gainst questioning, 
when Jews Him judg'd in Jerusalem.' 

7 o PERLE. 


" In Jerusalem wat} my Lemman slayn 

& rent on rode v/yth boye} bolde ; 

Al oure bale} to bere ful bayn, 

He toke on hym self oure care} colde ; 808 

Wyth bofTete} wat} hys face flayn, 

J)at wat} so fayr on to byholde ; 

For sy/me he set hym self in vayn, 

)}at neu^r hade non hym self to wolde. 8l * 

For vus he lette hym fly}e & folde 

& brede vpon a bostwys bem ; 

As meke as lom[b] ])at no playnt tolde, 

For \us he swalt in Jerusalem. 8l6 


" [I] Jerusalem, Jordan, & Galalye, 
l^er-as baptysed ]?e goude Sayt Jon, 
His worde^ acorded to Ysaye. 
When Jesus con to hyw warde gon, 820 

He sayde of- hym J?ys professye :- 
' Lo, Gode} Lombe as trwe as ston, 
j)at dot} away )>e sy/me} dry^e 
})at alle ))ys worlde hat} wro}t vpon ! 8*4 

Hym self ne wro}t[e] neu^-r }et non, 

Whe]?<?r on hym self he con al clem. 

Hys generacyou quo recen con, 

})at dy}ed for vus in Jerusalem ? ' 828 

PEARL. 71 


" In Jerusalem was my Truelove slain 
and rent on rood by boist'rous churls ; 
full ready all our bales to bear, 
He took on Him our cares so cold. 
With buffets was His face all flay'd, 
that was so fair to look upon ; 
for sin He set Himself at nought, 
that ne'er had sin to call His own. 

For us He let Him beat and bend 

and bind upon a rugged rood ; 

as'meek as lamb, that made no plaint, 

for us He died in Jerusalem. 


" In Jerusalem, Jordan, and Galilee, 
where baptized folk the good Saint John, 
his words accorded with Isaiah's. 
When Jesus was come a-nigh to him, 
he spake of Him this prophecy :- 
' Behold God's Lamb, as true as stone, 
who doth away the endless sins 
that all this world hath ever wrought. 
Yet He Himself wrought never one, 
though on Himself all sins He laid. 
His generation who can tell, 
that died for us in Jerusalem ? ' 

72 PERLE. 

f. 50* " In lerusatem ]>us my Lemman sw[e]te 

Twye^ for lombe wat^ taken pare, 

By trw recorde of ay))<?r prophete, 

For mode so meke & al hys fare. 832 

))e pryde tyme is Jwr-to ful mete, 

In Apokalype^ wryten ful }are. 

In myde} Je trone, pere saynte} sete, 

]}e apostel lohn hym sa^f as bare, 836 

Lesande pe boke with leue^ sware, 
))ere seuen sygnette^ wern sette i-seme ; 
& at J?t sy^t vche douth con dare, 
In helle, in erfe, & Jerusalem. 840 


"^ | ^HYS Jerusalem Lombe hadeneu<?rpechche 
JL Of o])/?r huee bot quyt jolyf, 

}pat mot ne mask[e]lle mo^t on streche, 

For wolle <iuyte so ronk & ryf ; 844 

For-py vche saule Jiat hade neu^r teche 

Is to J>at Lombe a worthyly wyf ; 

& J?a^ vch day a store he feche, 

Among vus cowme^ [n]oj?^r strot ne stryf ; 848 
Bot vchon enle we wolde were fyf, 
jpe mo pe myryer, so God me blesse ! 
I compayny gret our luf con pryf, 
In honour more & neu<?r |>e lesse. 852 

FROM COTTON MS. NERO A.x., LI.. 829857. 

PEARL. 73 


" In Jerusalem thus my Truelove sweet 

twice was taken there as lamb, 

by record true of prophets twain, 

so meek His mood and all His mien. 

The third time well befits thereto, 

as written in Apocalypse. 

Amidst the Throne, where sat the Saints, 

the Apostle John Him clearly saw, 
opening the Book with pages square, 
with seven seals set forth thereon ; 
and at that sight the doughty quaked, 
in Hell, in Earth, and Jerusalem. 


" ' I V HIS Lamb of Jerusalem had no speck 

JL of other hue save winsome white, 
that ne'er a stain or spot might touch, 
so white the wool, so rich and rare ; 
wherefore each soul that hath no taint 
is to that Lamb a wife ador'd ; 
and though each day a many He bring, 
nor strife nor stress among us comes ; 

but each one singly we would were five,- 

the more the merrier, so bless me God !. 

Our love can thrive in company great ; 

our honour more and never Jess. 

74 PERLE. 


" Lasse of blysse may non \us brywg, 

jpat beren pys perle vpon oure bereste, 

For pay of mote coupe neu<?r my/zge, 

Of spotle} perle^ j>a[t] beren Jje creste. 856 

Al-pa^ oure corses ln clotte^ cly/zge, 

& ^e remen for raupe wyth-outen reste, 

We pur^-outly hauen cnawy/zg, 

Of [o]n dethe ful oure hope is drest. 86 

\)e lou[w]be vus glade^, oure care is kest ; 

He myrfe^ vus alle at vch a mes ; 

Vchone^ blysse is breme & beste, 

& neu^r one} honowr ^et neu^rr pe les. 864 


" Lest les fou leue my talef farande, 
In Appocalyppece is wryten in wro :- 
*I seghtf,' says John, * j)e Louwbe hyw stande 
On pe mout of Syon, ful jjryuen & }>ro, 868 
& wyth hym mayde/me^ an hudre)?e )?owsande, 
& fowre & forty J>owsande mo ; 
On alle her forhede^ wryten I fande 
Jpe Lombe$ nome, hys Fadere^ also. 872 

A hue fro heuen I herde poo, 

Lyk flode^ fele l[e]den, rune on resse, 

& as Jjawder prowe^ in torre^ bio, 

))at lote, I leue, wat$ neu<?r pe les. 876 

PEARL. 75 


" Less of bliss may none us bring, 
this pearl who bear upon our breasts, 
for ne'er a thought of sin know they 
the crown who bear of spotless pearls. 
And though our corses cling in clay, 
and ye for ruth cry ceaselessly, 
we knowledge have full well of this,- 
from one death cometh all our hope* . 

Us gladd'neth the Lamb ; our care is cast ; 

He maketh mirth at every meal ; 

of each the bliss is bravest and best, 

and no one's honour is yet the less. 


" But lest thou deem my tale less true, 
in Apocalypse is writ a verse :- 
' I saw/ saith John, * where stood the Lamb, 
on the Mount of Zion, thriven and strong, 
and with Him maidens a hundred thousand, 
and four and forty thousand more ; 
on all their foreheads writ I found 
the Lamb's own name, His Father's eke. 

A voice from heaven heard I then, 

like many floods' roar, a-rushing on ; 

as thunder hurtles in lowring skies ; 

that sound, I trow, was none the less. 

76 PERLE. 


" Naupeles, pa^ hit schowted scharpe, 

& ledden loude al-pa$ hit were, 

A note fill nwe I herde hem warpe ; 

To lysten fat wat$ ful lufly dere. 8 80 

As harpore^ harpen in her harpe, 

pat nwe songe pay sowgen ful cler,- 

In souwande note} a gentyl carpe ; 

Ful fayre pe mode} pay fonge in fere. 884 

Ry^t byfore Gode} chayere, 
& pe fowre beste} pat hyw obes, 
& pe alder-men so sadde of chere, 
Her songe pay songen neu^r pe les. 


' * Nowpe-lese non wat^ neuer so quoyt, 
For alle pe crafte^ pat ever pay knewe, 
pat of pat songe my^t syge a poywt, 
Bot pat meyny pe Lombe pa[t] swe ; %9 Z 

For pay arn bo^t, fro pe vrpe aloynte, 
As newe fryt to God ful due, 
& to pe gentyl Lombe hit arn anioywt, 
As lyk to hym self of lote & hwe ; 896 

For neu^r lesyg ne tale vn-trwe 
Ne towched her tonge for no dysstresse. 
pat motel es meyny may neu^r remwe 
Fro patmaskele^ Mayster neuer peles.' " 900 

PEARL. 77 


" * Nevertheless, though sharp the shout, 

though loud the voice that echoed there, 

a note full new I heard them raise ; 

to list thereto was blissful joy. 

As harpers harp upon their harps, 

that new song sang they tunefully,- 

a noble theme in clearest notes ; 

sweetly in chorus they caught the strain. 
And e'en before the Throne of God, 
and the four beasts that bow to Him, 
and the Elders all, so grave of mien, 
their song they sang there never the less. 


" * Nevertheless was none so skilFd, 
for all the crafts that e'er he knew, 
that of that song might sing a note, 
save all the host that follow the Lamb. 
They are redeem'd, removed from earth, 
as first-fruits wholly due to God, 
and to that gentle Lamb enjoin'd, 
as like to Him in hue and look ; 
for never a lie nor tale untrue 
had touched their tongues, for any pain. 
To spotless Lord the spotless host 
shall nearest be, and never less.' " 

78 PERLE. 


f. 51 a " Neuer Jje les let be my ]x>nc," 
Qwof I, "my Perle, fia^ I appose ; 
I schulde not tempte Jjy wyt so wlonc, 
To Kryste^ chambre fat art ichose. 904 

I am bot mokke & mul amo[c], 
& J?ou so ryche a reken rose, 
& byde^ here by ]>ys blysful bone 
Jper lyue^ lyste may neu^r lose. 908 

Now, hynde, Jjat sympelnesse cowe^ enclose, 

I wolde Jje aske a J>yge expresse ; 

& ]>a^ I be bustwys as a [^wjose, . 

Let my bone vayl[e] neu^r-jje-lese. 912 


EUER-)?E-LESE cler I yowby-calle, 

If ^e con se hyt be to done ; 
As ]>ou art gloryowj wyt^-outen galle, 
WytA-nay pou neiur my ruful bone. 9 l6 

Haf ^e no wone^ in castel-walle, 
Ne man<?r fer ^e may mete & won[e] ? 
])ou telle^ me of Jerusalem^ ]>e ryche ryalle, 
)?er Dauid dere wat^ dy^t on trone ; 9 20 

Bot by f>yse holte^ hit con not hone ; 

Bot in Judee hit is, \al noble note ; 

As $e ar maskele^ vnder mone, 

Your wone^ schulde be wyth-outen mote. 9M 

PEARL. 79 

** And none the less my thanks have thou," 
quoth I, " my Pearl, though yet I ask ; 
I should not try thy noble mind, 
who chosen to Christ's chamber art. 
I am but earth and dust a-while, 
and thou so rich a royal rose, 
and bidest by this blissful bank, 
where life's delight may ne'er be lost. 

Now, Lady, simple wast thou once, 
I fain would ask thee but one thing ; 
and though I be wild as man of the woods, 
let, nevertheless, my prayer avail ! 


" T NONE the less beseech thee fair, 

A if thou canst see it may be done, 
as thou art glorious, free from fault, 
my rueful prayer deny not thou. 
Have ye no homes in castle-walls ? 
No manor where ye may meet and bide ? 
Thou namest Jerusalem, rich and royal, 
where David dear was dight on throne ; 

but by these holts it cannot be ; 

'tis in Judaea, that noble place ; 

as ye are spotless 'neath the moon, 

all spotless so should be your homes. 

8o PERLE. 


" J3ys motele^ meyny pou cone} of mele, 
Of pousande^ pry$t so gret a route ; 
A gret cete, for 36 arn fele, 
Yow by-hod haue wyt/6-outen doute. 928 

So cuwly a pakke of joly juele 
Wer euel don schulde ly$ p<?/--oute ; 
& by pyse bonke^ per I con gele, 
1 fl se no bygywg nawhere aboute. 93 2 

I trowe al-one ^e lenge & loute, 

To loke on pe glory of pys gr^c^oz/j gote ; 

If ]}0u hat^ o}>er lygyge^ stoute, 

Now tech me to fat myry mote." 93 6 


< That mote Jwu mene^ in Judy londe," 
}?at specyal spyce J>en to me spakk, 
" jpat is pe cyte pat ]>e Lombe con fonde, 
To sofrer i/zne sor for mane^ sake, 94 

J^e olde J^rwW^m to vnder-stonde, 
For pere pe olde gulte wat^ don to slake ; 
Bot pe nwe, pat ly^t of Gode^ sonde, 
Jpe apostel in Apocalyppce in theme con take. 944 

Jpe Lom[b]e ]>er, wyt^-outen spotte^ blake, 

Hat^ feryed pyder hys fay re flote ; 

& as hys flok is wjt>6-outen flake, 

So is hys mote wyt/6-outen moote. 94 8 

PEARL. 81 


" This spotless band thou speakest of, 
this throng of thousands, such a host ; 
a city vast, so many ye are, 
without a doubt, ye needs must have. 
So comely a pack of joyous jewels 
'twere perilous to lodge without ; 
but, where I tarry by these banks, 
I see no dwelling anywhere. 

I trow ye but linger here and walk, 

to look on the glory of this fair stream ; 

if elsewhere thou hast dwellings firm, 

now lead me to that merry spot." 


" The spot thou meanest, in Jewry land," 
that wonder rare then said to me, 
" the city it is the Lamb did seek, 
to suffer there sore, for sake of man,- 
the Old Jerusalem, to wit, 
for there the old guilt was assoil'd ; 
but the New, come down by God's own word,- 
the Apostle's theme in Apocalypse,- 

'tis there the Lamb, with no black stain, 
thither hath borne His beauteous throng ; 
and as His flock is without fold, 
moatless His mansion in that spot. 

82 PERLE. 


" Of motes two to carpe clene, 

& Jerusalem hy^t bope nawpeles, 

j^at nys to yow no more to mene 

Bot cete of God olper sy^t of pes, 95 2 

\ji pat on oure pes wat} mad at ene ; 

Wyt payne to suffer pe Lombe hit chese ; 

In pat op<?r is no^t hot pes to glene, 

J)at ay schal laste wjyt^-outen reles. 95 6 

fcat is pe bor^ pat we to pres 
Fro p0t oure f[l]esch be layd to rote ; 
})er glory & blysse schal eu<?r encres 
To pe meyny p^t is wjyt^-outen mote." 9 6 


" Motele^ may so meke & mylde," 

Jjen sayde I to pat lufly flor, 

" Brywg me to pat bygly bylde, 

& let me se py blysful bor." 9 6 4 

))at schene sayde :-" Jpat God wyl schylde; 

JOou may not enter wjt-ine hys tor ; 

Bot of pe Lombe I haue pe aquylde 

For a sy^t per-of pur^ gret fauor. 9 68 

Vt-wyth to se pat clene cloystor 
Jjou may, bot i-wyth not a fote 
To strech in pe strete pou hat^ no vygowr, 
Bot pou wer clene wyt/6-outen mote. 97 2 

PEARL. 83 

LXXX. t^" 

" Of these twain spots to speak aright, 
and yet hight both Jerusalem, 
which, know thou, meaneth nothing else 
but City of God, or Sight of Peace,- 
in the one, our peace one time was made ; 
the Lamb chose there to suffer pain ; 
in the other is nought but peace to glean, 
that aye shall last unceasingly. 

This is the bourne whereto we press, 

soon as our flesh is laid to waste ; 

there glory and bliss shall e'er increase 

unto the host without a spot." 


"Spotless maid, so meek and mild," 
then said I to that flower full fair, 
" bring me to that blest abode, 
and let me see thy blissful bower." 
That glory said : " God this forbiddeth ; 
within His tower thou may'st not come ; 
but from the Lamb I welcome thee 
to a sight thereof, by His great grace. 
That cloister clean may'st see without ; 
within thy vigour availeth not 
to enter in its street one foot, 
save thou wert clean in spotlessness. 

84 PERLE. 


f. 52-5 y p I pis mote Jje schal vn-hyde, 

A Bow vp to-warde pys borne^ heued, 

& I an-ende^ pe on pis syde 

Schal sve, tyl pou to a hil be veued." 97 6 

fien wolde [I p^r] no lenger byde, 

Bot lurked by lavwce^ so lufly leued, 

Tyl on a hyl pat I asspyed 

blusched on pe burgh*?, as I forth dreued. 9 8 
By-^onde pe brok fro me warde keued, 
Jpat schyrrer pen sune wyt^ schafte} schon ; 
I pe Apokalypce is pe fasou preued, 
As deuyse^ hit pe apostel Jhon. 9 8 4 


As John pe apostel hit sy^ vfyth sy^t, 

I sy^e pat cyty of gret renou/z, 

Jerusalem so nwe & ryally dy^t, 

As hit wat} ly^t fro pe heuen adou. 9 88 

))e bor^ wat^ al of brende golde bry^t, 

As glemande glas burnist brou/z, 

WytA gentyl gemme^ an-vnder py3t, 

Wyth bantele^ twelue on basy/zg bouw ; 99 Z 

}5e fouwdemente^ twelue of riche tenouw ; 

Vch tabelment wat^ a serlype^ ston ; 

As derely deuyse^ pis ilk tou 

In Apocalyppe^ ]?e apostel John. 99 6 

PEARL. 85 


" OH ALL I to thee this spot reveal, 
O bend thou toward this river's head, 

I, opposite, upon this bank, 

shall follow, till thou come to a hill." 

No longer would I tarry then, 

but stole 'neath boughs, 'neath lovely leaves, 

till, from a hill, as on I went, 

I espied and gazed upon the Burgh. 
Deep set from me, beyond the brook, 
with rays it shone, than sun more bright. 
In Apocalypse is found its form, 
as pictureth the Apostle John. 

As John the Apostle saw it then\ 
saw I that City of noble fame, J 
Jerusalem, new and royally dight, 
as it was come from Heaven adown. 
The Burgh was all of burning gold, 
burnish'd bright as gleaming glass, 
with glorious gems beneath it set, 
with^4welfe steps rising from the base, 
foundations twelve, with tenons rich, 
and every slab a special stone ; 
as in Apocalypse this same Burgh 
John the Apostle pictureth well. 




As [John] pise stone^ in writ con nemme, 

I knew fe name[j] after his tale. 

Jasper hy^t j>e fyrst[e] gewme, 

J)at I on )>e fyrst[e] basse con wale ; 

He glente grene in J>e lowest hewme ; 

Saffer helde pe secou/zde stale ; 

))e calsydoyne )>e/me wjt^-outen wemme 

In ]?e pryd[de] table con purly pale ; 

J?e emerade ])e furpe so grene of scale ; 

))e sardonyse fe fyfpe ston ; 

Jpe sexte )>e [sardej ; he con hit wale, 

\n )>e Apocalyppce, )>e apostel John. 




r. 53 ^et joyned John pe crysolyt, 

)5e seuenpe gemme in fundament ; 
))t a^tjie pe beryl cler & quyt ; 
\)e topasye twyne-how ]?e newte endent ; 
jpe crysopase )?e tenjje is ty^t ; 
))e jacywgh [tj ]?e enleuenfe gent ; 
)pe twelfpe, fe [tryjeste iw vch a plyt, 
])Q amatyst purpre wjt/> ynde blente. 
Jje wal abof J)e bantels b[[r]]ent, 

jasporye as glas jjat glysnande schon, 

1 knew hit by his deuysement 

In ])e Apocalyppe^, }>e apostel J[o]hn. 


PEARL. 87 

As John these stones named in his book, 
I knew the names, as he doth tell. 
Jasper hight the first gem there, 
that on the first base I discern'd ; 
on lowest course it glisten'd green ; 
sapphire held the second step ; 
the chalcedony then, without a spot, 
on tier the third shone pale and pure ; 

the emerald fourth, so green of scale ; 

the fifth stone was the sardonyx ; 

the sardius sixth ; in Apocalypse 

John the Apostle discern' d it then. 


To these join'd John the chrysolite, 

foundation-stone the seventh there; 

the eighth the beryl, white and clear ; 

the twin-hued topaz ninth was set ; 

the chrysoprase came next, the tenth ; 

the gentle jacinth then, eleventh ; 

the twelfth, the surest in every plight, 

the purple amethyst, blent with blue. 
The wall rose sheer above the steps, 
of jasper as glass that gleaming shone ; 
I knew it, as he pictured it 
in Apocalypse, the Apostle John. 

88 PERLE. 


As John deuysed ^et sa^ I pare,- 

J^ise twelue de-gres wern brode & stayre ; 

]5e cyte stod abof fill sware, 

As longe as brode as hy^e ful fayre ; 1024 

jpe strete^ of golde as glasse al bare ; 

))e wal of jasper pat glent as glayre ; 

J?e wone^ wjyt^-iwne enurned ware 

Wyth alle ky/me} perre pat mo^t repayre. 1028 
))e/me helde vch sware of pis manayre 
Twelue [powsande] forlongef er ewr hit fon, 
Of he^t, of brede, of lenpe, to cayre ; 
For meten hit sy$ pe apostel John. 1032 


AS John hyw wryte^ ^et more I sy^e : 
Vch pane of pat place had pre ^ate^ ; 
So twelue in powrsent I con asspye ; 
)2e portale^ pyked of rych[e] plate^ ; 1036 

& vch $ate of a margyrye, 
A parfyt perle pat neu<?r fate^. 
Vchon in scrypture a name con plye 
Of Isr^l barney, folewande her date}, 1040 

J?at is to say, as her byrp[e]-whate^ ; 

J)e aldest ay fyrst p^r-on wat^ done. 

Such ly^t per lemed in alle pe strate^, 

Hem nedde nawp^r sune ne mone. 1044 

PEARL. 89 


As John there pictured, saw I too, 

broad and steep were these twelve steps ; 

the City stood above full square, 

in length as great as breadth and height ; 

the streets of gold, as clear as glass ; 

the wall of jasper ; as glair it gleam'd. 

The mansions were adorn'd within 

with every kind of gem e'er found. 
And held each side of that domain 
twelve thousand furlongs, ere ended then, 
in height, in breadth, in length, its course ; 
for measured saw it the Apostle John. 


AS writeth John, yet saw I more,- 
three gates had each side of that place, 
yea, twelve in compass I espied, 
the portals deck'd with plates full rich ; 
each gate was of one margery pearl,- 
a perfect pearl that fadeth ne'er. 
Each bore thereon a name inscribed 
of Israel's children, in order of time, 

that is to say, as their fortunes of birth ; 

ever the elder first was writ. 

Such light there gleam' d in all the streets, 

they needed neither sun nor moon. 

9 o PERLE. 


f. 53* Of su/me ne mone had fay no nede ; 
))e self [e] God wat} her lom[p]e-ly^t, 
\)e Lombe her lantyrne wyt^-outen drede ; 

hjm blysned fe bor^ al bry^t. 1048 

wo^e & won my loky/zg 3ede, 
For sotyle cler no^t lette no [sjy^t ; 
))e hy^e trone f er mo^t 36 hede 
Wyth alle ]>e apparaylmente vmbe-py^te, 1051 
As John ]?e appostel in terme^ ty^te ; 
J)e hy^e Gode^ self hit set vpone ; 
A reu<?r of )>e trone per ran out-ry^te 

bry^ter fen bo]?e fe suwne & mone. 1056 


Su/me ne mone schon neiur so swete, 
A[s] J?at foysouw flode out of fat flet ; 
Swyfe hit swange fur} vch a strete, 
Wyt/-outen fylfe of^r galle o]>er glet. 1060 

Kyrk f er-ine wat^ non ^ete, 
Chapel ne temple fat ever wat^ set ; 
Jje Al-my^ty wat^ her mynyster mete ; 
\)e Lombe fe saker-fyse fer to reget. 1064 

J^e ^ate^ stoken \vat^ neu^r ^et, 

Bot eu<rr-more vpen at vche a lone ; 

)}er entre^ non to take reset, 

))at bere^ any spot an-vnde[r] mone. 1068 

PEARL. 91 


Of sun or moon had they no need ; 
their lamp-light was the very God ; 
the Lamb their lantern that never fail'd ; 
through Him the City brightly gleam'd. 
Through wall and mansion pierced my gaze ; 
all was so clear, nought hinder'd sight. 
The High Throne might ye there behold, 
engirt with all its fair array, 

as John the Apostle drew in words ; 

and thereon sat High God Himself. 

A river from the Throne ran out ; 

'twas brighter than both sun and moon. 


Nor sun nor moon so sweetly shone 
as that rich flood from out that floor ; 
through every street it swiftly surged, 
free from filth and mud and mire. 
Church therein was none to see, 
chapel nor temple that ever was set ; 
the Almighty was their minster meet, 
the Lamb their sacrifice, there to atone. 
The portals never yet were barr'd, 
but evermore open at ev'ry lane ; 
none entereth there to take abode, 
that beareth spot beneath the moon. 

92 PERLE. 


The mone may per-of acroche no my^te ; 

To spotty ho is, of body to grym ; 

& al-so ]>er ne is neu^r ny^t. 

What schulde pe mone per compas clym, i7 z 

& to euen wyth pat worply Iy3t, 

fiat schyne^ vpon pe broke} brym ? 

fie planete^ arn in to pou^r a ply^t, 

& pe self[e] sune ful fer to dym. i7 6 

Aboute pat watfr arn tres ful schym, 
})at twelue fryte^ of lyf con bere ful sonc ; 
Twelue sype^ on }er pay beren ful frym, 
& re-nowle^ nwe in vche a mone. 1080 


f. 54 An-vnder mone so gret rmrwayle 
No fleschly hert ne my^t endeure, 
As quen I blusched vpon pat ba[yjl[e], 
So ferly pfr-of wat^ pe fasure. 1084 

II stod as stylle as dased quayle, 
For ferly of pat freuch fygure, 
fiat felde I nawp^r reste ne tr^uayle, 
So wat} I rauyste wyth glymme pure. i88 

For I dar say wyth conciens sure, 
Hade bodyly burne abiden pat bone, 
fiaj alle clerke^ hyw hade in cure, 
His lyf wer loste an-vnder mone. 1092 

PEARL. 93 

The moon no might may there acquire ; 

too spotty is she, too grim her form ; 

and night is never in that place. 

Why should the moon climb there her course, 

as 'twere with that rich light to vie, 

that shineth upon the river's bank ? 

The planets' plight is all too poor ; 

the very sun is far too dim. 

About that stream are trees full bright, 

that bear full soon twelve fruits of life ; 

twelve times each year they bravely bear, 

their fruit renewing every moon. 


Beneath the moon no heart pf flesh 
so great a marvel might sustain, 
as I, a-gazing on that Burgh, 
so wondrous was the form thereof. 
I stood as still as dazed quail, 
in wonder of that gladsome sight ; 
nor rest nor travail felt I then, 
so ravish' d by that radiance rare. 

For I, with knowledge sure, dare say, 
had mortal bodily borne that bliss, 
though all our clerks had him in cure, 
his life were lost beneath the moon. 

94 PERLE. 

XIX. xcn. 

RY^T as f e maynful mone con rys, 
Er fewne f e day-glem dryue al dou, 

So sodanly on a wonder wyse, 

I wat$ war of a prosessyou. 10 9 6 

J^is noble cite of ryche enpr[y]se 

Wat$ sodanly ful, wyt^-outen sowniou, 

Of such v*rgyne$ in f e same gyse 

fat wat^ my blysful an-vnder crou/z ; IIO 

& coronde wern alle of f e same fasoun, 
Depaynt in perle^ & wede^ qwyte ; 
In vchone^ breste wat$ bou/zden bou 
)5e blysful perle wjt [gret] delyt. II0 4 


Wyth gret delyt fay glod in fere 

On golden gate3 f>at glent as glasse ; 

Huwdreth ]?owsande3 I wot per were, 

& alle in sute her liuref wasse ; "8 

Tor to knaw pe gladdest chere. 

foe Lombe by fore con proudly passe, 

Wyth home} seuen of red g[ol]de cler ; 

As praysed perle$ his wedej" wasse. "12 

Towarde )>e throne fay trone a tras ; 

))a$ fay wern fele, no pres in plyt ; 

Bot mylde as maydene^ seme at mas, 

So dro; fay forth wjyt gret delyt. i" 6 

PEARL. 95 

XIX. xcn. 

AS when the mighty moon doth rise, 
ere thence the gleam of day may set, 
so, suddenly, in wondrous way, 
I was 'ware of a procession there. 
This noble city of rich renown 
was suddenly, without summons, full 
of maidens, all in self-same garb 
as was my Blissful beneath her crow: 
and crowned were they all alike, 
array'd in pearls and raiment white ; 
on each one's breast was fasten'd firm, 
with great delight, the blissful pearl. 


With great delight they fared together 
on golden streets that gleam'd as glass ; 
hundreds of thousands I wot there were, 
as of one Order was their guise ; 
'twere hard to choose the gladdest mien. 
Before them proudly pass'd the Lamb, 
with seven horns of clear red gold ; 
His robe most like to praised pearls. 

Toward the Throne they took their track ; 

though they were many, none did press; 

but mild as modest maids at mass, 

so drew they on, with great delight. 

96 PERLE. 


f. 54* Delyt ptft [Jw] hys come encroched, 
To much hit were of for to melle ; 
)?ise alder-men, quen he aproched, 
Grouelywg to his fete pay felle ; IIZO 

Legyouwes of auwgele^ togeder uoched 
j^er kesten ensens of swete smelle ; 
J3en glory & gle wat^ nwe abroched ; 
Al songe to loue pat gay Juelle. II2 4 

])e steuen mo^t stryke pur$ pe vrpe to helle, 

Jjat pe Virtues of heuen of joye endyte ; 

To loue pe Lombe, his meyny in melle, 

I-wysse I la^t a gret delyt. 


Delit pe Lombe for to deuise 
Wyth much meruayle in mynde went ; 
Best wat} he, blypest, & moste to pryse, 
Jpat euer I herde of speche spent. "3* 

So worply whyt wern wede^ hys[e], 
His loke^ symple, hym self so gent ; 
Bot a woude ful wyde & weete con wyse 
An-ende hys hert, Jmr} hyde to-rente, ^S 6 

Of his quyte syde his blod out-sprent. 

A-las ! po3t I, who did pat spyt ? 

Ani breste for bale a}t haf for-brent 

Er he per-to hade had delyt. IJ 4 

PEARL. 97 


Delight that there His coming brought, 

too much it were to tell thereof; 

those Elders all, when He approached, 

prostrate they fell before His feet ; 

legions of angels, call'd together, 

scatter'd there incense of sweetest smell ; 

then glory and glee pour'd forth anew ; 

all sang to laud that gladsome Jewel. 

Through earth to hell the strain might strike, 
that the Virtues of Heaven attune in joy ; 
to laud the Lamb, His host amid, 
in sooth possessed me great delight. 


Delight, much marvel, held my mind 
aright to picture forth the Lamb; 
best was He, blithest, and most to prize, 
that e'er I heard in speech set forth. 
So wondrous white was His array, 
simple His looks, Himself so calm ; 
but a wound full wide and wet was seen, 
against His heart, through sunder'd skin ; 

from His white side His blood streamed out. 

Alas ! thought I, who did that hurt ? 

Any breast should all have burnt in bale, 

ere it thereto had had delight. 

98 PERLE. 


The Lombe delyt non lyste to wene ; 

faj he were hurt & woiwde hade, 

In his sembelauwt wat^ neiurr sene, 

So wern his glente} gloryowj- glade. "44 

I loked amog his meyny schene, 

How pay wyth lyf wern laste & lade ; 

pen sa} I per my lyttel quene, 

jpat I wende had standen by me in sclade. 1148 

Lorde, much of mirpe wat} pat ho made, 

Among her fere} pat wat^ so quyt ! 

j?at sy^t me gart to penk to wade, 

For luf-longyg in gret delyt. 

XX. xcvn. 

f- ss. T^VELYT me drof in y^e & ere ; 

JL^/ My mane^ mynde to maddywg make ; 

Quen I se^ my frely, I wolde be pere, 

By^onde pe water pa^ ho were wake. 

I po^t pat no pywg my^t me dere 

To fech me bur & take me hake ; 

& to start in pe strem schulde non me stere, 

To swymme pe remnau/zt pa^ I per swalte. I1[ 6o 

Bot of pat muflt I wat^ bi-talt ; 

When I schulde start in pe strem astraye, 

Out of pat caste I wat^ by-calt ; 

Hit wat} not at my Prynce^ paye. "64 

PEARL. 99 


But none would doubt the Lamb's delight ; 
though He were hurt and wounded sore, 
none could it in His semblance see, 
His glance so glorious was and glad. 
I look'd among His radiant host, 
how they with life were fill'd and fraught ; 
then saw I there my little queen, 
I thought was nigh me in the glen. 

Lord, much of mirth was it she made ! 

Among her peers she was so fair. 

That sight there made me think to cross, 

for love-longing and great delight. 

XX. xcvn. 

DELIGHT so drove me, eye and ear ; 
melted to madness my mortal mind ; 
when I saw my Precious, I would be there, 
beyond the stream though she were held. 
Nothing, meth ought, might hinder me 
from fetching birr and taking-off; 
and nought should keep me from the start, 
though I there perish' d swimming the rest. 

But I was shaken from that thought ; 

as I wildly will'd to start a-stream, 

I was recall'd from out that mood ; 

it was not pleasing to my Prince. 

ioo PERLE. 


Hit payed hym not pat I so flonc 

Oucr meruelowj- mere^, so mad arayde , 

Of raas pa$ I were rasch & ronk, 

3et rapely per-ine I wat^ restayed. n68 

For ry^t as I sparred vn-to pe bone, 

)pat bfat[h]e out of my drem me brayde. 

)}en wakned I in pat erber wlonk ; 

My hede vpon pat hylle wat$ layde, n? 2 

)2er-as my perle to groude strayd. 

I raxled, & fel in gret affray, 

& sykywg to myself I sayd, 

"Now al be to pat Prynce^ paye." 1176 


Me payed ful ille to be out-fleme 
So sodenly of pat fayre regiou//, 
Fro alle po sy^te^ so quykef & queme. 
A longeywg heuy me strok in swone, 1180 

& rewfully pene I con to reme :- 
" O Perle," qz/op I, "of rych renou, 
So wat^ hit me dere pat pou con deme 
In pys v<ray avysyou ! 1184 

Iff hit be ueray & soth sermou, 
jDat pou so st[r]yke^ in garlande gay, 
So wel is me in pys doel-dougouw, 
)?at pou art to pat Prynse^ paye." "88 

PEARL. 101 


It pleased Him not I flung me thus, 
so madly, o'er those wondrous meres ; 
though on I rush'd, full rash and rude, 
yet quickly was my running stay'd ; 
for as I sped me to the brink, 
the strain me startled from my dream. 
Then woke I in that garden green ; 
my head upon that mound was laid, 

e'en where my Pearl had strayed below. 

I roused me, and fell in great dismay, 

and, sighing, to myself I said, 

" Now, all be as that Prince may please ! " 


Me pleased it ill to be out cast 
so suddenly from that fair realm, 
from all those sights so blithe and brave. 
Sore longing struck me, and I swoon'd, 
and ruefully then I cried aloud :- 
O Pearl," quoth I, of rich renown, 
how dear to me was all that thou 
in this true vision didst declare ! 
And if the tale be verily true, 
that thou thus farest, in garland gay, 
so well is me in this dungeon dire, 
that thou art pleasing to that Prince ! " 

102 PERLE. 


f. 55<5. To pat Prynce^ paye hade I ay bente, 
& Denied no more pen wat^ me g[y]uen, 
& halden me per in trwe entent, 
As pe Perle me prayed pat wat} so pryuen, 
As helde drawen to Godde^ present, 
To mo of his mysterys I hade ben dryuen. 
Bot ay wolde man of happe more hente 
))en mo^tef by ry^t vpon hem clyuen. 
]?er-fore my ioye wat^ sone to-riuen, 
& I kaste of kythe^ pat laste} aye. 
Lorde, mad hit arn pat agayn pe stryuen 
Op^r proferen pe o^t agayn py paye ! 


To pay pe Pr/nce, o]>er sete sa$te, 

Hit is ful epe to pe god Krystyin ; 

For I haf fouwden hym, bope day & na^te, 

A God, a Lorde, a Frende ful fyin. I20 4 

Ouer pis hyul pis lote I la^te, 

For pyty of my Perle enclyin ; 

& sypen to God I hit by-ta^te, 

in Kryste} dere blessy/zg & myn, 
]?at, in pe forme of bred & wyn, 
j)e preste \us schewe^ vch a daye ; 
He gef \us to be his homly hyne, 
Ande preciowj perle^ vnto his pay ! 

Amen. Amen. 

PEARL. 10 J. 

That Prince to please had I still bow'd, 
nor yearn'd for more than was me given, 
and held me there with true intent, 
as the Pearl me pray'd, that was so wise, 
belike, unto God's presence drawn, 
to more of His mysteries had I been led. 
But aye will man seize more of bliss 
than may abide with him by right. 

Wherefore my joy was sunder' d soon, 
and I cast forth from realms eterne. 
Lord, mad are they that 'gainst Thee strive, 
or 'gainst Thy pleasure proffer aught ! 


To please the Prince, to be at peace, 

good Christian hath it easy here ; 

for I have found Him, day and night, 

a God, a Lord, a Friend full firm. 

Over yon mound had I this hap, 

prone there for pity of my Pearl ; 

to God I then committed it, 

in Christ's dear blessing and mine own, 
Christ that in form of bread and wine 
the priest each day to us doth shew ; 
He grant we be His servants leal, 
yea, precious Pearls to please Him aye ! 

Amen. Amen. 




M. refers to Dr. Richard Morris's revised Alliterative Poems, 
E.E.T.S., Original Series, i, 1869. H. = article by Professor Holt- 
hausen, Archiv fur das Studium der Neueren Sprachen u. Liferaturen, 
Vol. 90. O. = Dr. C. G. Osgood's edition, Belles-Lettres Series 
(Boston), 1906. 

The hyphens in the text, with the exception of saker-fyse, 1. 1064, 
are editorial, and indicate that the component parts of the word are 
separated in the MS. 

i and j are, as far as possible, differentiated in accordance with 
the MS. 

Italic letters indicate expansions of MS. contractions ; f = excision 
of letters j square brackets are used to mark all other emendations. 


MS. Readings. 

Emendation in Text. 

8. synglure 


II. for dolked 


17. hert 


23. \\jit\e (mark on thei) 


25. t (blot on preceding 



26. rimnen 


35. sprygande 


49. spewnd 


51. hert 


53. spenwed 

pewned. H. 

54. fyrte 

fyr[c]e. H. 

60. precos 


68. rych 


72. adubmente 


81. J>at on 

l>at [I] on. H. 

89. flowen (vf due to 

correction ofy$) 

95. graces 
103. feier 


106. b nkes(second stroke 


of Q omitted} 

115. a 


122. wlonk 
134. I torn 

wlonk [e]. 
[torn I], H. 

138. otyr 

o[u]r. O. 

140. by twene myrJ)C3 

by-twene mere3 

by mere} made 

Myr>e made. 

142. hope 


144. a 


154. wo 


179. atouwt 


185. hope 


192. precos 


200. y3en 






MS. Readings. 

210. lere leke (1 in each 
case has probably 
resulted from 
the omission of 
the tail of h) 

225. tong 

229. pyse 

235. pfered . . . spyce 

262. nu {altered to ne) 
. . . here 

286. bro$ . . blys 

302. Ioue3 

303. vn cortoyse 

304. 1 ue3 {the letter 

between 1 and u 
is possibly y, 
now very faint) 
with a stroke 
through the ttp- 
perpart,to indi 
cate e) 

308. Ioue3 

309. ins 
312. dem 
319. couwsayl 
331. gare3 
335. perle? 
342. & wele 
353. styst 
358 & 

359. marre 
363. rapely raue 
369. Iyfe3 

381. carp 

382. marere3 
433. syde 

436. bygyner {the con 
traction mark 
on the first y 
instead of the 

Emendation in Text. 
[h]ere [hjeke. 



p[r0]fered . . . sp[e]ce. 

ne . . . [n]ere. 

bro3[t] . . . blys[se], 
I[e]ue 3 . 

I[e]ue 3 






[in] wele. 


[pat alle]. 

marre [d]. 

rapely [I] raue. 

[k]y]je3. H. 






MS. Readings. 


457. poule 
458. Ihu (otherwise 


Jh5, 711, 717, 

820 ; Ihc, 721 ; 

Jesu, 453) 

460. tyste 


461. sawhe 


469. cortayse 


479. ho 


480. cortayse 
481. cortayse 


486. fyrst 

fyrst [e]. 

505- J>ys 


510. pene on a day 

pene a day. 

523. resonabele 


524. pray 


527. nw 


529. >e day of date of 

f>e [date] of [day] of. 

532. sade (with stroke 

at foot ofd, be 

longing to an 

original y) 



533. longe (altered 

from 3ong) 

538. & hit 


542. meyny 


543. owe 

[a] we. 

544. reprene 


547. lowe 


557. on (MS. om, 


changed by the 

scribe to on, 

though the third 

stroke still clear) 

558, Via.v\\g(withmark 

on i) 


564. ask 


565. louyly 


572. calle 




MS. Readings. 

Emendation in Text. 

581. welnygh (the link 

between g and h 

resembles a) 

586. long 
596. p<?rtermynable 
616. lere 

Mere! 711 ' 

635. $ys (the s, though 

nearly obliter 

ated, can still 

be read) 

hym . . . fyrst 

h[e]m . . . fyrst[e]. 

649. out out of 

out of. 

656. wythiwne 

wyth in. 

672. m-oscente ; saf & 

i-oscen[c]e ; saf [by] 

ry 3 te 


673. ]>us ]>us I 


675. fate 


678. hy3 hylle3 

hy3[e] hylle. 

683. step 
688. me3bor 


690. cure con 

oure[Koyntyse hym] con. 

698. se$ 
700. sor 


701. com 


702. tryed 


709. quo con 

quo [so] con. 

714. touth 


715. hyw 


733. makelle3 


735. heuenesse clere 

heuenes s[p]ere. 

739- ry^tywys 


752. carpe . . . pr<?- 

carpe [d] . . . p^pertfy]}. 


757. makele3 


768. & py3t 

[He] py3t. 

778. maryag 


786. forty ]>owsande 

forty [fowre] >ovvsande. 

788. }v\& (so all except 

383, 818, Jon; 

984,Jhon; 1020, 




MS. Readings. 

791. hyl (1 corrected 

from some other 

792. o (t_MS. u) 

792. Jlrm (and so 
throughout ex 
cept 804, Jhrfn ; 
816, Jrlin;829, 
Ilrfn. This form 
of spelling may 
be due to a mis- 
readingof] hr m , 
due perhaps to 
analogy with 
Jhs = Jesus) 

799- gystle3 (s faintly 
changed to 1) 

800. felonye 

802. men 

803. query 

804. Jhrm 
815. lomp 
817. Jerusalem 
825. wro3t 

829. swatte 

830. j)are (a altered 

from e) 
836. sayt3 
843. masklle 
848. non o]>er 
856. >a 

860. n (blot on pre 

ceding letter} 

86 1. loube 

865. talle (but on the 
bottom of the 
previous page 
the catchwords 
are given as fol 
lows : Leste les 

Emendation in Text. 

gy[l]tle 3 . 





[I] Jerusalem. 








MS. Readings. 

Emendation in Text. 

yow leue my 

tale fara[de]) 

874. laden 


892. >ay 


905. among 


911. blose 


912. vayl 


918. won 


932. & I 


934. gracons 


945. lompe 


958. fresch 


961. By an error, this 

verse begins a 

new section in 

the MS. 

977. wolde no 

wolde [I }>er] no. 

985. John (the o has 

been added after 

wards, cp. 1020) 

997. As >ise 

As [John] jnse. 

998. name 

name [3], 

999. fyrst 


1000. fyrst 


1004. >ryd 


1007. rybe 


1014. jacywgh. 


1015. gentyleste 


1017. bent. 


1018. o jasporye (be 

tween o and j 

there are traces 

of what may be 

an added f, 

rather above the 

line, in a differ 

ent, probably 

later hand) 

1020. Jhn (cp. 985) 
1030. Twelue forlonge 

Twelue [J>owsande] for 

space er 

longe er 


MS. Readings. 

Emendation in Text. 

1036. rych 


1041. byr]> whatej 
1046. self . . . lombe 

selfje] . . . Iom[p]e-ly3t 


1050 lyjt 


1058. a 


1064. saker-fyse (hyph 

en indicated by : 

in MS.} 

1068. an vnde3 


1076. self 


1083. baly 


1084. fasure (s altered 

from 1) 

1097. enpresse 
1 104. w^/t^outen delyt 

\vyih [gret] delyt. 

1108. liurej 


1 1 10. lombe (a dot on 

third stroke of 


ii 1 1. glode 


1 1 12. wedej 


1117. >athys 

}>#t [per] hys. 

1133. hys 


1170. brathe (the h ap 


pears to be due 

to the correction 

of]), resembling 

y, to h) 

1179. quykej 
1185. if 


1186. stykej 
1190. geuen 


1196. mo3ten 



1-2. The opening lines of the poem have been variously 
interpreted, the main difficulty being the words ' to clanly 
clos. 5 ' Clos' seems to be the O.F. clos, i. e. enclosed, set. 
Such an interpretation must necessitate taking * to' as ' too.' 
The underlying thought may be illustrated by Cromek's 
Nithsdale Song : 

' She's gane to dwall in heaven, my lassie, 

She's gane to dwall in heaven ; 
Ye're owre pure, quo' the voice of God, 

For dwalling out o' heaven.' 

Grammatically there is nothing against the possibility 
that ' clos ' = close, i. e. to enclose, and that the phrase 
' to clanly clos ' is gerundive, t. e. for setting nobly. The 
lines would then mean : ' Pearl so pleasant as to please 
the Prince for setting radiantly in the glorious gold (i.e. 
heaven) ' ; cp. 

* He [t. e. the gemstone] is idon in heouene golde,' 

('A Luue Ron/ 1. 181, ' Old English Miscellany,' 

E.E.T.S. 1872). 

The strangest of all comments is that of O., who suggests 
a possible * secondary allusion to the maiden's tomb,' adding 
that 'the poet may have provided costly sepulture for the 
child,' though he aptly quotes from ' Ipotis' : 
' The feorj?e heuene is gold iliche, 
Ful of precious stones riche ; 
To Innocens ]?at place is diht ; ' 
cp. also ' The Boke of Brome,' p. 27, 11. 69-71. 

As regards the phrase ' to prynces paye,' cp. the refrains 
of the last five stanzas, and especially the last line of the 
poem ; here probably = 'fit for a prince' (with anticipatory 



The construction with the split infinitive ('to clanly clos ') 
need cause no difficulty, cp. e.g. to lelly layne, ' Gawain ' 
1863 ; but ' clos ' as adj. gives, I think, the poet's meaning. 

3. Oute of Oryent ; the best pearls came from the Orient, 
i. e., the Indian seas ; cp. Chaucer, ' Legend of Good 
Women,' Prologue 221 : 

1 Of oo perle, fyne, oriental, 
Hire white coroune was ymaked al.' 

hardyly : cp. 'hardyly,' 695. 

4. her. I have carefully avoided using the feminine pro 
noun in my rendering of the opening of the poem ; the 
allegory should reveal itself gradually ; hence ' her precios 
pere' = 'a gem its peer 5 ; 'I sette hyr sengeley in syn- 
g[u]l[e]re,' 1. 8 = ' I placed my pearl apart,' etc. It must be 
borne in mind, however, that the feminine pronoun would 
not strike a medieval reader as in modern English. At the 
same time it is noteworthy that the poet frequently uses the 
indefinite 'hit,' e.g. 11. 10, 41, etc. 

6. smal. Here we have probably no suggestion of the 
sense of l slender ' as applied to a woman, but rather the use 
of the word with special reference to the pearl, which is 
described as little and round, as though the epithet ' smal ' 
was expressive of the special characteristic of the pearl, as 
compared with other stones. From this sense it is trans 
ferred in 1. 90 to the transfigured child. Indeed, the poet 
emphasises in ' Cleanness,' 11. 1117-18, that the charm of the 
pearl is quite independent of its material value, ')?a^ hym 
not derrest be demed to dele for penies.' 

8. sengeley, *'. e. seng(e)le + y = sengel-y ; cp. sengel, 
'Gawain,' 1531. 

syng[u]l[e]re ; MS. synglure. The reading proposed in 
the text explains the scribal error, and restores the right 
rhythmical movement of the line ; cp. ' synglerty,' 429 
(prob. = syngulerte'). 

9. erbere: not an arbour, in the ordinary modern sense, 
but garden, literally ' herb-garden ' ; O.F. herbier. The poet 
is thinking of the grave-yard as a garden. 

ii6 PEARL. 

11. 'I dewyne, Sor-do[k jked of luf-daungere 
Of ]?at pryuy perle wyth-outen spot ; ' 

it has been objected (Athenaeum, 1891, No. 3328) that my 
change of MS. 'fordolked' into ' fordokked ' is of question 
able propriety ; on the other hand, Prof. Kolbing (' Englische 
Studien,' 1891, p. 269) approved of it, quoting from Wyclif, 
'Select Works,' III. 180, 'J>ei docken goddis word.' Many 
instances might be adduced illustrative of the scribal Ik for 
kk, and / for k (cp. ' lyj^e^ ' = ' kyj^e^,' 369), but more import 
ance is to be attached to the syntax of the passage, which 
favours ' fordokked ' as against ' fordolked,' or ' fordolled ' ; 
the first 'of ' (indicating the agent) = 'by' ; the second intro 
duces the indirect object dependent on 'fordokked.' 'Luf- 
daungere ' = ' Love's domination,' /. e. ' l God's Will.' The 
lines have evidently this force : 

' I pine, robbed by Love's severing power 
Of that privy pearl without a spot.' 

' Daunger ' personifies the power that keeps the lover from 
the beloved. 

Some such passages as the following from the ' Romaunt 
of the Rose ' were doubtless in the poet's mind ; I quote 
from the Chaucerian version : 

' Thus day by day Daunger is wers, 
More wonderful & more divers, 
And feller eke than ever he was ; 
For him full oft I sing, alas ! 
For I ne may not through his ire 
Recover that I most desire.' 

1 For want of it I grone & grete 
But Love consent another tide 
That ones I touche may & kisse, 
I trow my paine shal never lisse.' 

' And Daunger bere erly and late 
The keyes of the utter gate' (11, 4101-208). 


To my mind, all question on the matter is settled by the 
fact that the poet himself interprets the meaning of these 
words in 1. 273, ' & Ipou hat^ called J?y wyrde a ]?ef.' ' For- 
dokked ' implies the idea of ' robbed, despoiled by a thief.' 
Nowhere else has the poet called his fate a thief. N.E.D. 
suggests ' for-dolled.' 

12. pryuy: O.F. prive, ' intime ' (cp. privy seal, etc.), 
hence 'one's own.' 

17. dot} : finite verb, not auxiliary = ' serue}' ; cp. 331. 

)?rych : infinitives of verbs ending in ch do not take e ; 
cp. 'bysech' 390, 'rech' 333, 'fech' 1158, etc. 

grange has here almost the sense of ' thick and fast,' the 
idea being that of closeness. 

19. sange : cp. -songe, 529. 

20. stylle stounde : literally, the still time, the silent hour. 

21. f ele I I still hold that here we have a pregnant use of 
the word, though it is difficult to find an exact parallel ; it 
is not necessary to understand 'sanges,' nor (with Prof. 
Kolbing) to add 'thoughtes' before 'fele'; the common 
personal use of 'fele,' without substantive, is here simply 
transferred to the non-personal use. 

22. To ]?enke hir color so clad in clot : syntactically the 
meaning of the line is ' In thinking,' etc., z. e. as I thought. 
For this use of ' to ' with the inf., cp. 1. 1 1 58. 

23. In spite of the unusual mark on the first stroke, that 
seems to make the reading 'iuele,' I believe that the poet 
wrote ' myry mele,' /. e. a merry theme (namely, my spotless 
Pearl). The phrase 'a merry meal' is not uncommon in 
Middle English, as also 'a sorry meal.' N.E.D. refers 
these phrases to the ordinary sense of * meal,' repast ; I 
much doubt the correctness of this. In O.E. we have 
mael = talk, speech, and maelan, to speak. The latter, in 
the form 'mele,' is very common in M.E. In O.N. mal is 
a well-known word for talk, tale, narrative. I do not think 
we shall go far wrong in identifying ' mele ' in the phrases 
under discussion as referable to O.E. mSBl. 

25. spyse3 : cp. sp[e]ce (MS. spyce), 235. 

ii8 PEARL. 

25-36. Cp. 'And from her fair and unpolluted flesh 
May violets spring ; ' (' Hamlet,' V. ii.) 

' And from his ashes may be made 
The violets of his native land.' 

('In Memoriam/XVIII.) 

26. rot, to be distinguished from 'rote' (O.E. rotian), 958; 
cp. ' Cleanness ' 1079 : 

' Ther wat} rose reflayr where rote hat} ben euer.' 
27-8. Cp. 'Romaunt of the Rose,' 11. 1577-8 : 

' Agayn the sonne an hundred hewes, 
Blewe, yelowe, and rede.' 

29. fryte: cp. fryte}, 87 ; dystryed, 124. 

fede I it is to be regretted that this important word has 
not received attention at the hands of the lexicographers ; 
it is obviously distinct from 'fade' (cp. fate}, 1038), and is 
still used in parts of Lancashire for 'blighted,' 'putrid,' 
especially of fruit and flowers ; it certainly corresponds to 
the past part, of O.N. feyja, to let decay (e = O.N. ey ; cp. 
stremande, 115); cp. fuinn, rotten; fui, rottenness (cp. y 
pu, to stink). 

I have suggested that the famous refrain, 

' The flowers of the forest are a' wede awa' ' 

(cp. Scott's ' Minstrelsie ') 
was originally an alliterative line : 

' The flowers of the forest are a' fede awa'.' 

The word can be traced elsewhere in Middle English 

31-2. i Cor. xv. 34-8: cp. also John xii. 24. 

34. fayly : cp. bayly, fayle, 315 ; vayl[e] or vayl[y], 912 ; 
cp. stanza xci. 

38. erber is not in apposition with ' spot,' as O. suggests, 
the 'erber' being the garden, and the 'spot' the particular 
place where the child is buried. 

39-40. The high season in August when corn is cut with 
keen-edged hooks is evidently a reference to Lammastide, 


the harvest festival on August i, at which loaves were 
consecrated made from the first ripe corn. In fact, the poet 
seems to state that it was the festival of the cutting of the 
corn for this very purpose. I do not see anything in favour 
of O.'s theory that the festival referred to is that of the 
Assumption of the Virgin on August 15. The spiritual 
significance of this reference to the festival of the harvest 
connects itself with the earlier references to wheat and all its 

41. I owe to Dr. Craigie the suggestion that 'huyle' here, 
'hylle' 1172, and 'hyul,' 1. 1205, which phonologically must 
be differentiated from the ordinary word ' hill,' represent the 
Lancashire ' hile,' a clump or cluster of plants. * Rush-hile,' 
written ' rysche-hylle,' is given in the * Catholicon Angl/ 
In the nineteenth century it appears as ' rush-aisle.' See 
also 'hile' in Cunliffe's 'Rochdale Glossary,' 1886. No 
etymology for this word has been proposed. It seems to 
me possibly the M.E. representative of an O.E. word corre 
sponding to German hiigel, a mound, Goth, hugils ; cp. 
O.N. haug, a cairn ; English how. The root idea of all 
these words is that of ' high.' The cognates of the English 
'hill' are Lat. collis, celsus, Eng. holm. 

43. This is evidently a direct reminiscence of ' Romaunt 
of the Rose,' 11. 1367-77 : 

' Ther was eek wexing many a spyce, 
As clow-gelofre, and licoryce, 
Gingere, and greyn de paradys, 
Canelle, and setewale of prys, 
To eten whan men ryse fro table,' 

where the French has : 

' Ou vergier mainte bone espice, 
Cloz de girofle et requelice, 
Graine de paradis novele, 
Citoal, anis, et canele, 
Et mainte espice delitable, 
Que bon mengier fait apres table' (11. 1349-54). 

120 PEARL. 

gromylyoun : O.F. gremillon (? gromillon), a diminutive of 
' gremil/ whence ' gromwell/ lithospermum. It is note 
worthy that in the Middle Ages it was believed that the seec 
of the gromwell resembled a pearl in form. 

The derivation of the word is unknown, but O.F. fifteenth- 
century forms such as 'grenil/ as N.E.D. points out, per 
haps exhibit some popular etymologising approximation to 
' grain.' Chaucer's ' graine de paradis ' may well have 
suggested this spice. 

44. pyonys : again a flower the seed of which was a spice ; 
it was evidently suggested by the list of spices in the 
' Romaunt/ The point is not that the peonies were ranked 
in beauty with roses and lilies, as O. notes, but that we 
are dealing here with a list of medieval herbs growing 
on the mound, all these herb-spices being of medicinal 
effect. That the sight was beauteous to behold follows as 
a matter of course. 

46. Cp. ' Cleanness/ 1079, quoted in Note on 1. 26. 

3Ct: in addition ; cp. 1. 215. 

51. deuely : we have evidently here a special use of the 
dialect word ' deavely/ usually applied to a lonely and 
unfrequented road, used in its literal sense of * deaf-like ' ; 
cp. the use of ' deave ' in the sense of * to stupefy ' ; cp. 
Latin surdus : The grief that dinned in his heart was deaf 
to reason. There is no need to change the text and read 
either ' de[r]nely ' or ' de[r]uely/ 

dele : rare in the sense of the clamour of grief ; cp. 1. 339, 
' dyne of doel.' 

53, 4. penned: MS. spened ; 

fyr[c]e : MS. fyrte. I accept these two emendations of 
Dr. Holthausen (Herrig's 'Archiv/ 90). 

56. wra3te : cp. 'wro3te/ 525. 

59. slepyng-sla3te : cp. 'Patience/ 192 : 

' In such sla3tes of so^e to slepe so faste.' 

61. The stanza reminds one strikingly of ' In Memoriam,' 

' Lo, as a dove, when up she springs.' 


71. webbe} : probably a reference to the wall tapestries of 
the Middle Ages. 

79. glode} : probably the bright shining clouds ; cp. Nor 
wegian glott, an opening, a clear spot among clouds. In 
Jakobsen's work on the Norse element in Shetland-speech 
r Det Norrone Sprog paa Shetland,' Copenhagen, 1897) 
I find the following illustrative usages : 

' gloderek (Fetlar) ; a large dark cloud with whitish top, 
through which the sun shines : gloderet, glodere, adj. (of 
the air), filled with whitish clouds, the sun shining through, 
formed from gloder (also glod), hot and sudden sunshine 
between showers ("the sun was out in a gloder").' 

The word 'glod' is connected with O.N. glaftr, bright, 
shining (applied to the sky, weather, etc.). In the present 
passage 'glode^' must mean bright shining clouds, and spaces 
(cp. sunne-beme^, with which they are contrasted, 1. 83). 

' Glade,' an open space in a wood (cp. Skeat, under ' glade'), 
is a variant form, but it is noteworthy that Beaumont and 
Fletcher (' Wildgoose Chase,' V. iv.) use the provincial form 
'glode' (unnecessarily changed by editors to 'glade') for 
the open track in a wood, particularly made for placing nets 
for woodcocks (cp. Halliwell) : 

' Bless me, what thing is this ? two pinnacles 
Upon her pate ! Is't not a glade to catch woodcocks ? ' 

In the old dictionaries ' to make a glade ; is generally 
glossed 'colluco,' which the Latin lexicographers explain : 
' succisis arboribus locum luce implere.' 

The Middle-English instances and uses of the word 'glode,' 
peculiar to the alliterative poems, have not yet been in 
vestigated. I have noted the following four examples : 

(i) ' As it com glydande adoun on glode hym to schende.' 

(' Gawain,' 2266.) 

(ii) ' Hit hade a hole on J?e ende, & on ayj?er syde, 
& ouer-growen with gresse in glodes ay where.' 

('Gawain,' 218 1.) 



(iii) f Than bowes he to j?e baistall ' & brymly it semblis, 
Gedirs of ilk glode grettir & smallire.' 

(' Wars of Alexander,' 1334.) 

(iv) ' So was ]?e glode with-in gay, al with golde payntyde.' 

(Erkenwald, 75.] 

(i) = the bright turf; (ii) bright patches ; (iii) open forest- 
spaces ; (iv) the bright space (within the coffin in ' Erken 
wald '). 

Radically connected with 'glod 3 is M.E. gladene. In the 
'Wars of Alexander' ('a gladen he waytes,' 131) gladen 
seems to be used in the secondary sense of ' a lucky moment ' 
(z. e. a bright sky, an auspicious time) ; cp. Skeat, ' Wars of 

80. sehynde : cp. schyned, 'Cleanness,' 1532; similarly, 
rysed, ' Gawain,' 1313, ' Cleanness,' 971, etc. 

81. grauayl: cp. vessayl, 'Cleanness,' 1791; metayl, 
chapayl, ' Gawain,' 169, 1070; [I]; I have accepted Holt- 
hausen's suggestion, the insertion of [I] before 'on' improves 
both the rhythm and the syntax of the line ; cp. 363, 977. 

83. bio & blynde : literally 'pale and blind'; note the 
omission of the auxiliary before 'bot.' I eel. blindr is simi 
larly used in the sense of ' dark.' 

86. garten: for the pi. after ' adubbemente,' cp. fordidden, 
124 ; the collective idea of the word, or the plural words 
intervening, may easily account for the usage. 

89-96. Evidently a reminiscence of the 'sweet song' of 
the birds in the garden of the ' Romaunt of the Rose 
cp. the Chaucerian 'Romaunt,' 11. 482-508, 655-694. 

97. dubbet = dubbed ; t = d, passim; cp. stanza LIX, etc. 

103. ei[r]er I usually fayr ; cp. 11. 46, 88, 1024. 

105. reuere^ : i, e. river-banks, to be distinguished from 
' reuer,' 1055. 

107. ' I came to a water that cut along the shore/ /. e. that 
divided the strand. Schore, ' the boundary or edge cut 
off' ; cp. scor-en, p.p. of sceran, to cut. See Note on 
'schorne,' 213. 


109. The dubbemente : possibly the poet wrote 'thadub- 
bemente,' i.e. 'the adubbemente ' (cp. J?acces, 'Patience,' 
325 = ]?e access), but the aphetic form is found in Old 

no. bene : cp. bene, rhyming with sene, by-dene, [ej^hen, 
198 ; to be distinguished from bayn, 807 ; cp. N.E.D. 'been. 5 

in. swangeande : cp. longeyng, 244 ; longyng, 1 1 52. The 
noun 'swonghe,' in 'Allit. Troy Book, 3 342, adduced by O., 
is an error, duly corrected by the editors in their Glossary, 
for ' swoughe.' 

113. Cp. Chaucerian ' Romaunt of the Rose,' 11. 125-7 : 

' Tho saugh I wel 
The botme paved everydel 
With gravel, ful of stones shene,' 

where the French version has 

' Le fons de 1'iaue de gravele' (1. 121). 

115. stroke-men: much ingenuity has been misspent on 
'strode'; it is probably identical with the Scottish strath, 
'a valley through which a river runs' (cp. Lang-stroth-dale, 
in Yorkshire); cp. stro]?e-rand, ' Gawain,' 1710. StroJ?e- 
men = dalesmen. The vowel indicates a district south of 
the Tweed, and the Yorkshire place-name is very signifi 
cant. The earliest date quoted for 'strath' in N.E.D. is 

124. for-didden: cp. garten, 86. 

126. bred-foil: cp. brurdful, 'Cleanness,' 383. 

131. wayne3 : cp. vayned, 1. 249. 

136. J?o Gladne} glade : the poet, with his mind full of the 
garden of the ' Romaunt of the Rose,' is here thinking of 
Dame Gladness, and personifying the joyous scene as Joy. 
Hence it is that ' ]?o ' must be taken as the fem. ace. sing. 
The incongruity of ' gladness ' and ' glad ' is thus reduced ; 
cp. ' Romaunt/ 11. 745-58, and 847-78. Gladness (French 
Leesce) is the wife of Sir Mirth (De"duit). 

I2 4 PEARL. 

137. Paradyse : cp. ' Romaunt of the Rose/ 11. 647-8 : 

' For wel wende I ful sikerly 
Have been in paradys erth[e]ly.' 

139. I hoped: I thought; 'hope' is frequently used thus 
in Early English ; so also 1. 142. 

140. 'By-twene [mere}] by [Myrjpe] made': MS. 'By- 
twene myrj^e^ by mere} made' ; the scribe had, I feel sure, 
transposed 'mere}' and 'myr]?e' (cp. 529), and having 
transposed them, naturally wrote 'myrjpe^' for 'myr]?e.' 
The poet was thinking of Deduit, the Lord of the Garden in 
the ' Romaunt of the Rose,' whose name is ' Mirth ' in the 
English version. The following passage was in his mind 
he had possibly the Chaucerian rendering before him: 

' In places saw I WELLES 1 there 
In whiche ther no frogges were, 
And fair in shadwe was every welle ; 
But I ne can the nombre telle 
Of stremys smale, that by devys 2 
MIRTHE had don come through condys, 
Of which the water, 3 in renning, 
Gan make a noyse ful lyking' (11. 1409-1416). 

1 cp. mere3, 140. 2 cp. deuyse, 139. 3 cp. water, 139. 

142. wore: cp. 154, 232; ware, 151, 1027; were, 739; 
wern, 278. 

145. more . . . mare: cp. wore, ware, 151,154; wate, 502; 
wot, 47 ; abate, 617 ; bod, 62. 

153-4. I schulde not wonde for wo[]?e] t MS. wo; cp. 
'Cleanness,' 855, 'Gawain,' 488; ']?e' omitted, owing to 
'J?er' immediately following. 

154. wore: see Note on 142. 

163. Blysnande whyt wat} hyr bleaunt: 'bleauwt,' after 
O.K. bliant, M. Lat. blialdus, is in M.E. a kind of tunic or 
upper garment, or a rich stuff or fabric used for this garment. 
Our poet in 'Gawain 3 uses it, in 1. 879, with reference to the 


stuff of a mantle 'of a brou bleeauwt,' and again in 1. 1928, 
with reference to a long garment, ' He were a bleau^t of 
blwe, }?at bradde to ]?e er]?e.' What has the poet in mind 
in the present line ? He is obviously thinking of Rev. xix. 8, 
' Et datum est illi ut cooperiat se byssino splendent! et can- 
dido.' The earlier Wycliffite version renders ' And it is 
aouun to hir, that she couere hir with whijte bijce shijnynge.' 
Pearl appears clad as a bride, and * bleauwt ' is used here for 
her attire or covering of white, the white byssus of the verse 
just quoted, and might even be used for the fabric of this 
garment. Byssus was vaguely understood by early English 
writers, and was used for fine and valuable substance, linen, 
cotton and silk, later translated in the English Bible as 
'fine linen.' The earlier Wycliffite version, in Luke xvi. 
19, glosses 'biys' as 'white silk.' The point of the verse 
in Rev. xix. 8 is that the ' byssus ' is white and shining, 
and this our poet brings out well, 'bleauTzt' suggesting 
the richness of the material of her array. See Note on 
1. 197. 

165. schere : the word here must be taken in close connec 
tion with 'schorne,' 1. 213, and at first sight would seem to 
be from Ci.E. 'sceran,' to cut. N.E.D. differentiates the two 
words, referring the former to 'sheer,' to make bright or 
pure, the latter to the p.p. of ' shear,' in the sense of ' newly 
cut, so as to have a bright surface.' It is hardly likely that we 
have here two distinct words. If they are from ' sceran,' to 
cut, i.e. to cut into threads or some such necessary idea, 
the sense seems forced. But 'shorn' is nowhere else found 
applied to gold. Accordingly, I hold that we have here the 
Scand. verb (cp. O. Swed. skaera, to purify; O.N. skeerr, 
bright, pure) with sk modified to sch by the influence of 
O.E. sclr, M.E. schire, pure ; hence M.E. scheren (side by 
side with M.E. skeren) in the sense of 'to purify,' attracted 
to M.E. sceren, to cut, with its p.p. schorn. 

N.E.D. refers to this verb also 'schere^,' 107, but this I 
take to mean ' cuts,' and not ' runs bright and clear.' 
Knigge's view, adopted by O., that the meaning ' purify ' is 

iz6 PEARL. 

impossible, since initial Scand. sk is in all cases preserved 
in these poems, is not decisive, because it is quite possible 
that a verb *scseran, adj. *scere, existed in O.E. 

To sum up, the underlying idea of the word seems to be 
the refining of gold by fire. 

167. ]?ere: cp. }?ore, 562, ]?are, 1021. 

1 70. f onte : the rhyme indicates that this is a u word, and 
cannot therefore be, as has been generally assumed, from 
O.E. fandian ; cp. 1. 327. 

177. vere^ (O.F. virer) ; evidently a Northern form; cp. 
enveron, Barbour's ' Bruce, 3 ' Wars of Alexander, 3 etc. (z/. 
environ, N.E.D.) ; cp. dyscreuen : leuen : weuen, 68 ; N.E.D. 
describes it as ' of obscure origin. 3 

178. vysayge: (?) cp. 'grauayl,' 81. 

179. a[s]tount : i.e. astoned; MS. atou;zt; the alliterative 
strength of the line perhaps warrants the emendation ; cp. 
stowned, * Gawain, 3 242, 301 ; ' Patience, 3 73 ; stonyed, 
'Gawain, 3 1291. 

185. 'I trowed that that sight was spiritual. 3 
porpose : not, as is usually taken, in the sense of ' intended 
meaning or purpose, 3 but ' that which is set before one, 
vision. 3 Cp. proposition, in the sense of 'presentation' ; 
looves of proposicioun = shew-bread. 

187-8. Cp. Juliana Barnes 3 s * Treatise 3 : ' And now take hed 
if your hawke nymme the foule at the ferre syde of the 
ryver, 3 etc. Morris misses the metaphor, rendering ' chos 3 
'was following, was seeking, 3 and 'at steuen, 3 'within reach 
of discourse '; the phrase means, I think, 'at a fixed spot, 3 
' within reach, 3 a hawking term, corresponding to the hunter 3 s 
' at bay ' ; ' Steven ' in Early English denotes not only * voice, 3 
but also 'appointed place, 3 cp. O.E. gestefnian; for 'stalle, 3 
to fix, in the sense of 'to hold secure, 3 preceded as here by 
' chose,' cp. : 

' Whenas thine eye hath chose the dame, 
And stalled the deer that thou would 3 st strike. 3 

('The Passionate Pilgrim, 3 XIX.) 


O. erroneously, it seems to me, glosses 'at steuen' as 'by 
speaking, calling.' 

189. Cp. Note on 1. 463. 

190. seme sly^t : seme corresponds to the I eel. form 
'ssemi,' used in composition, cp. saemiligr, ,sasmileikr, 
derived from the adj. saemr, becoming, fit. Cp. 1. 6. 

196- by-dene : no new light has been thrown on the origin 
of the word (cp. Curtis, ' Clariodus,' 1894, 239) ; the rhymes 
in this stanza, contrasted with xxv, LXXX, seem rather to 
favour Prof. Skeat's suggestion, dene ( = dcen), Northern 
pp. of ' do,' as against Dr. Murray's, ene ( = O.E. 3!ne). 

197. beau mys : Morris read 'uiys,' but later accepted my 
rendering, ' Academy,' Vol. xxxix. p. 602. ' Mys ' = 'amys.' 
It is just possible that the poet wrote 'beu amys.' 'Mys' 
(or 'amys') I take to be ultimately derived through O.F. 
and Low Lat. (probably some such form as Low Lat. amicia) 
from Lat. amictus, an upper garment, in contradistinction 
to an under-dress. This is borne out by the Wycliffite use 
of 'amice/ Is. xxii. 17, where 'quasi amictum' is translated 
4 as an amyse.' The ordinary usage of the word is for the 
ecclesiastical garment of white linen folded diagonally, 
worn by celebrant priests, formerly on the head. A like 
word, derived from a different origin, O.F. aumusse, aumuce, 
of doubtful source, probably German, with the Arabic article 
'al' prefixed, was also applied to 'an article of costume of 
the religious orders made of, or lined with, grey fur.' This 
word, as far as form is concerned, may have reacted on 
the former word. 

In the later Wycliffite version ' amyt ' rendering ' capitium,' 
Ex. xxxix. 21, is in form directly due to O.F. amit. 

Accordingly, 'mys' or 'amys' in the present passage is 
used by our poet in the sense of 'upper garment.' The 
line is not a repetition of 1. 163, where the reference is 
to the general array ; here the poet is coming to details. 
The outer garment to which he refers is not only gleam 
ing white, but is also richly adorned with pearls, is 
open at the sides, and has long hanging laps. It came 



over the kirtle, and was worn especially as a mark 

One cannot resist a reference to Milton's lines, 

' Morning fair 
Came forth with pilgrim steps in amice gray.' 

('Par. Reg.' IV. 427.) 

O. actually changes 'beau mys' in his text to 'bfleaunt 
of biys],' making the poet repeat 1. 163. It is hardly neces 
sary to detail all the objections to this unfortunate tampering 
with the text and with the poet's thought. See Note on 1. 163. 

201. lapp 63 large : as I pointed out, 'lappe^' must mean 
here 'sleeves,' not, as Morris interpreted, borders. The 
reference is to the long hanging sleeves falling from the 
surcoat, a mark of fashion at this period. ' Large,' /. e, 
ample, suggests not only fulness, but also length, and is 
used much as the more common word ' side,' with reference 
to drapery which extends far down ; cp. ' Winner and Waster,' 
dated 1352, 11. 410-12, where the long flowing sleeves are 
spoken of disparagingly, as the new fashion : 

' Now are ]?ay nysottes of }? e new gett, so nysely attyred 
With [sijde slabbande sleues, sleght to ]? e grouwde 
Ourlede all vmbto#>ne vritfr ermyn aboute.' 

But even at an earlier date sleeves were the object of 
disparagement, cp. Wright's 'Political Songs' (c. 1311), 

P- 255 : 

'For Pride hath sieve, the lond is almusles.' 

Our poet deems it fitting that this mark of high rank should 
be associated with Pearl transfigured. She is now of the 
Court of Heaven, and leads a 'ladyly lyf,' 774. Similarly 
in ' Morte Darthur,' Fortune as a duchess has a surcoat of 
silk ' with ladily lappes the lenghe of a 3erde,' 3254. In the 
illustrations of the MS. these long hanging sleeves appear. 

203. cortel : i. e. the under-dress ; its hem, which is 
bordered with pearls, is lower than the surcoat ; see 
Note on 1. 217. ' Cortel ' = ' curtel.' O.K. cyrtel, kirtle. 


205-8. Cp. Note on 1. 1186. 

207. hi^e pynakled: the poet is evidently alluding to a 
regal crown, suggestive of the crown borne by the Virgin 
and by the virgin brides. Thus in the ' Trentalle Sancti 
Gregorii ' we have : 

* He sawe a fulle swete syght<? : 
A comely lady dressed & dyghte, 
That all* ]?e worlde was not so bry^t, 
Comely crowned as a qwene,' 

and the lady is taken to be Mary, Queen of Heaven. The 
'corowne' in 'Pearl' anticipates 1. 415; cp. 11. 4506. 
In Revelation it is the elders who have the crowns, but 
early in literature and art the crown is one of the symbols 
of the Virgin (cp. Mrs. Jameson's ' Sacred and Legendary 
Art'). Our poet, while, no doubt, having this in his mind, 
is yet all the same influenced, it seems to me, by the 
description of Reason in the * Romaunt of the Rose ' : 

' And on hir heed she hadde a crown, 
Hir semede wel an high persoun ; 
For rounde environ, hir crownet 
Was ful of riche stonis fret.' 

(Chaucerian Version, 11. 3201-4.) 

209. werle : this word, so far as I know, occurs nowhere 
else, and its history is doubtful. It is possible, as Prof. 
(Holthausen has suggested (Archiv, 90) that it may repre- 
jsent an O.E. *werels = O.N. vesl, attire. The meaning of 
jthe word is difficult, but the idea is probably 'covering, 
bead-dress,' and the reference is to the kerchief usually worn 
path the crown; cp. 'Wars of Alexander,' 1. 5249, where 
','ueen Candace wears 

' A crowne & a corecheffe clustert vrtih gewmes.' 

jFhe line really means ' She wore no other covering upon her 
Head' ; and 'werle' seems to catch up the first line of the 
'tanza. The absence of the kerchief betokens maidenhood. 

1 3 o 


It is not necessary to change the text. O.'s ' herl 
which occurs in ' Gawain,' 1. 190, in the sense of ' filamer 
of hair,' will not improve the line nor make any sens 
even though explained as an ' embraided fillet.' 

210. [h]ere [h]eke : MS. lere leke, / resulting from the 
fading of the downward stroke of h, or from a scribe's 
omission to add the downward stroke, cp. 616 ; heke = eke, 
a common spelling in M.E. The finite verb is omitted. 
The line means : ' Her hair, too, all about her,' ;. e. * hanging 
loose.' The point of the line is that the hair was not held in 
by a kell or hair-net ; but that it was free, as became a bride. 
The bride's hair was generally loose, and artists depicting 
the Marriage of the Virgin indicate this. Cp. Spenser's 
description in his ' Epithalamium ' : 

* Her long loose yellow locks.' 

hyr vmbe-gon : (was) gone about her ; z*. e. hung about her 
neck. 'Vmbe-gon' is little more than 'vmbe/ and is a 
parallel use to the more idiomatic ' vmbtourne,' which 
probably suggested the use ; see my Note, * Winner & 
Waster,' 1. 412. 'Vmbe-gon' is certainly not, as O. takes it, 
a pres. pi., reading * [h]ere-leke/ in the sense of Mocks of 
hair (?),' for which there is no authority. 

212. whalle3 bon : cp. ' Winner & Waster,' 1. 181 : 

* Whitte als the whalles bone.' 

It was trisyllabic even in Shakespeare, cp. ' L.L.L.' V. ii. 

* To show his teeth as white as whales bone,' 

so F. i : whale his bone, Fs. 2, 3, 4. 

213. schorne : see Note on 1. 165. 

215-16. The force of these words must be taken in con 
nection with the sun-like radiance of her whole figure ; cp. 
11. 165-6. 'Depe' has reference to her intense glowing 
beauty, used very much as Milton's 'glowing violet,'; 
' Lycidas,' 1, 145. 'Colour' is used here in the sense of 


'beauty,' as in other passages in the poem, cp. 11. 22, 753 ; 
it cannot imply, as O. maintains, a ruddy hue, for her 
'ble' has been described as whiter than whalebone, 1. 212. 
The lines mean : ' Moreover, her glowing beauty had no 
lack of (*. e. was richly bedecked with) precious pearls on 
all the borders of her robe,' anticipating, however, the one 
great pearl that adorned her person. 

217. poyned: the MS. is correct, and there is no reason 
for tampering with the text. Dr. Craigie has kindly sug 
gested to me that 'poyned' is the O.F. poignet, wrist-band, 
see N.E.D. under ' poignet.' Pinson's edition of the 
' Promptorium Parvulorum ' gives the spelling * ponyed.' 

The reference is evidently to the wrist-bands of the long 
narrow sleeves of the kirtle, as opposed to the hanging 
lappets of the surcoat. 

220. uesture : no mere repetition of the fact that the dress 
was white. Here 'uesture' takes in the whole array, 
including the pearls. Then comes the mention of the 
chief ornament of the ' uesture,' namely the ' wonder perle.' 

224. malte (inf.), cp. malte, 1154: 'J>y mersy may malte 

Ipy meke to spare,' 'Cleanness/ 776, 'make }?e mater to malt 

my mynde wyth-imie, 1566; 'to malte so out of memorie,' 

' Erkenwald,' 158; the form of the inf. 'malte' seems to 

be a dialected variant of O.E. meltan, mealt, due perhaps 

! to confusion of the strong verb 'melten' with the weak 

! 'malten. 3 

229. py[ec]e: MS. pyse ; Morris, p[r]yse, but the rhymes 

I 'grece,' 'nece,' require 'pyece'; similarly MS. 'spyce' in 

1. 235 is emended by me into ' sp[e]ce,' the correct form of 

i the word (O.F. espece). Cp. Shakespeare's use of 'piece' : 

'Thy mother was a piece of virtue' ('Tempest,' I. ii. 56). 

231. he]?en in-to Grece: cp. ']?e gayest iw-to Grece,' 

1 ' Gawain,' 2023. 

236-7. Compare ' Awntyrs of Arthur,' 1. 626 : 

' Scho caughte of hir eoronalle, and knelyd hym till*.' 



243. by myn one : by me alone, by me so lone. There was 
in M.E. an idiom of 'one,' preceded by the possessh 
pronoun in the sense of lone, solitary, alone,' thus : 

'to kayre al his one' (Gawain,' 1048). 

' we bot oure one' (' Gawain,' 1230 ; cp. 2245). 

' Onely ' is still used in the sense of 'lonely' in Lancashire, 

' Mon, aw'm onely when theaw art'nt theer.' 

(Waugh's * Lancashire Songs.') 

cp. na3te,' 1203. 

245. agly3te, i. e. a (pref.) = away, + glla, to shine (cp. 
of ... leme, 358); cp. gly3t, 114; used in the sense of 
' blinked,' ' Gawain,' 842, 970 ; ' Patience, 5 453 ; also 
'squinted,' gliet, gleyit, ' Dest. of Troy,' 3772, 3943, 3995 ; 
the spelling with ' y^ ' conforms to the rhyme of the stanza ; 
cp. sorquydry^e, 309. 

249. vayned, cp. wayne^, 131 (for v, iv, cp. vyf, 772, 
veued, 976) ; the rhyme attests the existence of the word, 
though in other passages ' wayne ' may be an editorial error 
for 'wayue' (cp. Gawain,' 'Allit. Poems,' 'Wars of 
Alexander,' passim) ; it is probably a parallel English 
formation to O.N. vegna (O.E. *wegnian), to cause to 

250. del: cp. pref, 272. 

252. juelere : the 'merchant-man, seeking goodly pearls ' 
of the Parable is indicated, Matt. xiii. 45. 

2 54- y^en graye : gray was the favourite colour in the 
Middle Ages, and is often referred to in the ' Romauntofthe 
Rose,' the romances, Chaucer, etc. See N.E.D. under 
'gray,' and Skeat's note on Chaucer's Prologue, 152. 

255. set on hyr coroun : the implication is that she is now 
re-assuming her royal rank, and is about to speak with serious 

259. cofer: cp. 'Cleanness,' 310, 339. 


clente : i. e. clenched, referring to the iron bars riveted on 
the coffers of the Middle Ages, so as to make them strong 
boxes for the keeping of treasure. 

269. rose: the word calls up all the associations of the 
* Romaunt of the Rose ' ; there was something even more 
glorious than the Rose of the Earthly Paradise, namely, the 
proved Pearl of Heaven ! 

273. Evidently referring to 11. 11-12. 

274. o^t of no^t : something of nothing ; evidently 

282. don out of daw 63 : /. e. deprived of days, that is, of 
life. 'A-dawe,' as an adv., = 'of dawe.' The full phrase 
' of Hues dawe ' is also found. 

283. ma feste : not ' make a feast,' but in the sense of the 
French 'faire fete,' to make merry, to rejoice. 

299. to passe : in respect of passing, /. e. as to passing ; 
cp. 'to ]?enke,' 1. 22 ; ' to fech,' 1. 1158. 

305. hy3te: due to O.E. heht, treated as weak verb ; cp. 
402; cp. 'hyjt,' 'Gawain,' 1970; pres. 'hete,' 402; p.p. 
*hy3t,' 'Cleanness/ 714; * hette,' 'Gawain,' 540. 

306. dy3C : cp. 'dyed,' 705 ; ' de^e," Gawain,' 996; 'de^en,' 

307. westernays : this word cannot be another form of 
'western ways,' as Morris suggested, deriving it from O.E. 
'weste,' barren, empty ; ' western,' a desert place. Had he 
suggested the ordinary word ' western ' as its first component, 
the suggestion would have been plausible, but the ending of 
the word cannot be connected with 'ways,' although the 
word is used as an adverbial ending in M.E. ; here, however, 
the rhyme requires a different sound, viz., the French ais, 
ays, eis t or e's. Now there existed in O.F. the word ' bestorner, 
besturner,' 'to turn awry,' with its p.p. 'bestorne, bestornes, 
bestorneis,' 'turned awry'; its component parts are 'bes/ 

a prefix with the force of ' ill, badly,' and ' tourner/ to turn ; 

I the p.p. 'bestornez' was used in a very special sense for a 
thing turned wrongly towards the west, instead of towards 
the east ; thus, a church of St. Benet in Paris was called 

134 PEARL. 

'saint Beneois li bestornez,' and its name is thus accounted 
for by a fourteenth-century writer, ' quod ejus majus altare 
tune temporis spectaret Occidentem, cum ex ecclesiastica 
consuetudine Orientem spectare debuisset. Nunc contraria 
ratione dicitur S. Benoit le Bien tournee, quod ad Orientem 
translatum sit majus altare, cum instaurata est ecclesia.' 

From the use of the word in the * Romaunt of the Rose,' it is 
clear, too, that popularly the word was used with the idea of 
'turned towards the west.' It is an interesting fact that, in 
Teutonic languages, the equivalent for ' bestornez,' viz., 
1 wider-sinnes,' i.e. 'in a contrary direction ' (cp. Icel. sinni, 
a way, O.K. slip, O.H.G. sin), was used in exactly the same 
way for 'contrary to the course of the sun,' and in Northern 
English it is this word which appears in the strange guise of 
' widishins ' (as in the tale of ' Childe Rowland '). My opinion 
is that the poet of ' Pearl ' tried to naturalise ' bestornez ' in 
English by changing it to an understandable form, viz., 
' westornays ' or ' westernays ' ; it is to be noted that he 
required a w word for alliteration, and the sound of French 
e2 for rhyme; 'widishins' would have satisfied the allitera 
tion, but not the rhyme ; it is doubtful, however, if this word 
was known to our poet. The line may be compared with a 
parallel from Middle High German, 

' Den namen er widersinnes las,' 

/. e. he read the name backwards, perversely. 

One thing is quite certain, that the poet has transformed 
the O.F. bestorneis to suggest to English readers 'west,' 
and all its connotations in popular lore. In recent times, 
' to go west ' has been revived among the soldiery, and has 
gained new pathos. O., without any explanation, substitutes 
\b~\ for w, in spite of the MS. reading, which is still further 
strengthened by the alliteration of the line. 

309. sorquydry^e : cp. surquidre, 'Gawain,' 2457. This 
indicates that the spirant is merely used for the purpose of 
an eye-rhyme. 

313. dayly : the etymology of 'dayly' is probably O.F. 


* dallier,' to sport ; further, I would suggest O.F. ' dalle,' a 
tablet ; the earlier use of the word was, I think, ' to play 
dice,' hence, * to hazard words. 3 My note on ' bayly,' 1. 442, 
explains that here 'dayly' represents the pronunciation of 
1 mouille, rhyming with ' bayle,' * fayle,' and ' consayl.' This 
is what one would expect from ' dallier/ which should give 
two forms in M.E., 'dayle' and 'dalye'; the scribe has 
blended the two in his spelling * dayly.' 

320. keue = O.N. kefja : see 'sete,' 1201. I see no difficulty 
in deriving 'keue' from O.N. kefja. This source is not only 
clear in respect of this passage, but also, in my opinion, in 

I. 981, the idea being 'sunk down.' In O.N. the word is 
often applied to a horse sinking belly-deep in the snow. 
N.E.D. considers that the sense is not satisfactory for 1. 981, 

i but the meaning there is parallel to the present use ; see Note 
I on the line. The literal meaning is : ' Thy corse must sink 
more coldly in clay.' 

323. drwry, i.e. drury, O.E. drdorig: cp. lude (O.E. leod), 
'Gawain,' 232, 449 ; ludych, 'Cleanness,' 73 ; ludisch, 1375 ; 
leude (= lede : 3ede), ' Gawain,' 1 124. 

331. gare: MS. gare^ ; cp. perle^ = perle, 1. 335, also 

II. 1108, 1 1 12. It is possible, though unlikely, that the 
MS. reading is correct, 'bot' being taken as conjunction ; 
the inf. after 'serue^ bot' is probably correct ; cp. 'dot3 bot,' 
17, 18. 

337. doel : used here attributively as in the phrase ' dule 
habit'; see N.E.D. under 'dole.' The phrase is probably 
slightly different from the compound 'doel-doungoun,' 1187, 
i.e. the dungeon of grief. Cp. Dunbar, 'The Tua Mariit 
Wemen and the Wedo,' 1. 420 : 

' I droup with ane deid luik, in my dule habite/ 
compared with 1. 422 : 

' Quhen that I go to the kirk, cled in cairweidis.' 
339-40. That is, on account of lamentation for compara- 

136 PEARL. 

tively small losses, oft many a man loses more (than the 
things he laments) 

341. ]?y seluen blesse : to cross oneself ; cp. 'Aryse be tyme 
oute of thi bedde, And blysse ]?i brest & thi forhede,' ' Meals 
& Manners,' p. 266, E.E.T.S., 1904. This seems to be the 
only possible meaning in this passage, and the word cannot 
be glossed as 'confer well-being upon,' as O. interprets, 
from one of the definitions of the word in N.E.D. 

349. adyte: cp. endyte, 1126, ' Gawain,' 1600; pref. 
a- = F. en, perhaps partly due to O.E. adihtan ; but in many 
cases M.E. a- = A.F. an = O.F. en ; note also doublets with 
a-, en-, e.g. acroche, encroche (1069, 1117); cp. 'endorde,' 

353. stynt: MS. sty^st ; it is remarkable that in 'Clean 
ness,' 359, the scribe has written 'styste^' (3 s. pr. ind.) 
evidently for ' styte^,' /. e. stywte^, and it looks as though in 
both these cases he wrote 'stynst' instead of 'stynt.' If, 
as it would seem, this is an error, the repetition is very 

354. sech : cp. rech, 333 ; bysech, 390 ('seke' is not found 
in the poems). 

358. Oat alle] ]?y Iure3 : MS. & )?y lure 3. The line is 
obviously imperfect. I suggest that the scribe misread the 
abbreviated ' Ipat ' and wrote ' & ' instead, and further omitted 
'alle.' In corroboration of my emendation I adduce 1. 119, 
parallel in movement, alliteration and phraseology. Further, 
the thought of the passage is brought out, the gliding off of 
the losses resulting from the comfort's assuaging power. 
There is no reason therefore for taking 'lure^' in any other 
sense than ' deprivations, losses.' The word catches up 
1- 337- There is nothing to my mind to favour O.'s rendering 
of the word as ' frowns,' nor his further suggestion that ' leme ' 
means 'to beat or drive away with blows.' 'Leme of 
= ' to glance off,' and is used very effectively. 

359. marre[d] o]?er madde; I adhere to my proposed 
emendation of marre[d] for MS. marre. The phrase 'to 
make or mar,' or 'make and mar,' is early, though N.E.D. 


quotes as earliest instance c. 1420, Lydgate, Assembly of 
Gods,' 5 56: 

' Neptunus, that dothe bothe make and marre.' 

Prof. Holthausen (Archiv, 90) proposed 'marre o]?er mende.' 
my]?e: all the recorded senses of the word indicate the 
concealing or dissembling of feelings ; cp. N.E.D. under 
* mithe ' ; but here the poet seems to be using the word 
in the sense of 'to avoid,' hence to escape (mourning). 
Perhaps here, in view of the rhyme, it means the opposite 
of ' to mourn,' i. e. to be happy. The line appears to be 
the poet's rendering of I Sam. ii. 6 (or one of the parallel 
passages noted in marginal references): 'The Lord killeth 
and maketh alive, he bringeth down to the grave and 
bringeth up.' O. wrongly translates 'grief remembered or 

362. ne wor]?e no wrath]?e vnto my Lorde : MS. wrath ]?e 
probably due to wra]?]?e (O.E. wrse&fo) ; 'let there not be 
wrath unto my lord,' /'. e, 'let not my lord be wroth with me.' 
Prof. Kolbing (Eng. Stud., 1891, p. 270) finds great difficulty 
in this rendering of the words. The poet is probably think 
ing of Abraham's supplication to God on behalf of Sodom 
(Gen. xviii. 32): 'Obsecro, inquit, ne irascaris Domine si 
loquar adhuc semel' ; cp. ' Cleanness,' 11. 689-780. 

363. [I] : omitted by scribe ; cp. 81, 977. 

364. wyth mysse remorde : i. e. torn by loss ; not ' sin or 
failure,' as O. interprets the word. 

365. I take this now with the next line, not the preceding 
one, and the meaning to be ' like water pouring from a 
well, I readily resign myself to God's gracious will.' The 
poet has in mind such Biblical phrases as Lam. ii. 19 : ' Pour 
out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord'; 
Ps. Ixii. 8 : ' Trust in him at all times ; ye people, pour out 
your heart before him.' 

368. forloyne: O.F. forlonger, to go astray, err; cp. ' Jif 
I for-loyne as a fol,' ' Cleanness,' 750 ; cp. Note on 1. 362. 

369. [k]y>>e3 : MS. Iyj>e3, cp. 1 = k, fordo[k]ked, 10 ; the 

138 PEARL. 

proposed emendation certainly strengthens the alliteration 
of the line, and simplifies its construction ; cp. 357, and 
* William of Palerne,' 603 : 

'A ! curteyse cosyne . crist mot )?e it selde 
of ]?i kynde cumfort . ]?at ]?ow me kupest nowj?e.' 

O., keeping 'ly^e^,' inserts 'wyth' after 'kyndely.' 

375. wo]?e: here = 'path,' and is a different word from 
'wo)?e3' in 1. 151. The word here is O.E. wa]?, hunting- 
ground ; hence, generically, place ; as opposed to O.N. va$i, 
peril, danger. The sense is confused if the word is rendered 
'danger,' as O. glosses it. 

382. ma[n]ere3 : MS. marere^ ; the emendation in the text 
was first proposed in Athenseum, 1891, No. 3328 ; cp. 
man^rly = with due courtesy, ' Cleanness,' 91. 

386. mornyf : cp. ' gyltyf, ' 669. 

390. bysech : cp. ' sech/ 354. 

415. in blysse to brede: i.e. to flourish in bliss; O.E. 
brsedan, to broaden, extend, is used with reference to leaves 
and trees flourishing. In this phrase it is not O.E. bredan, 
to breed, even though it were possible, as O. interprets, to 
take the word in the sense of ' to dwell.' 

416. wage: this can hardly be anything else than the 
French ' wager,' here evidently used in the sense of ' to be 
assured,' hence ' endure,' though no parallel of the verb in 
this sense can be adduced. In 'Gawain,' 1. 532-3, 

' Til me^el-mas mone 
Wat} ciuften wyth wynter wage,' 

the sense appears to be ' with the assurance of winter,' /. e. 
the certainty that winter was coming. 

417. sesed : O.F. saisir ; cp. 'Gawain' 822, O.F. at >^ 
before s ; e.g. reles, 956 ; corte}, 754, etc. 

419. parage: cp. 'Cleanness,' 167 : 

' Aproch \>o\i to ]?at prynce of parage noble.' 
429. synglerty : cp. syng[u]l[e]re, 8. 


430. Fenyx of Arraby : cp. Chaucer, ' Book of the Duchess,' 

11. 980-1 : 

' Trewly she was to myn ye 
The Soleyn Fenix of Arabye.' 

The poet means that in the uniqueness of her ' douceur,' she 
is comparable only to the Phoenix, of which there was only 
one, and which was also immaculate of form. As regards 
the beauty of the Phoenix, the Anglo-Saxon poem (' Exeter 
Book,' E.E.T.S., 1895, pp. 200-241) is perhaps the best 

431. ]?at freles fle^e: that was wont to fly immaculate of 
form ; ' fle^e ' used as aorist ; ' J?at fle^e ' is little more than 
a periphrasis for ' bird.' 

434. folde: not pt. 3 s. ind., but p.p., 'her face being 
covered up ' in the hanging folds of her garment. 

439. ' Many seek to obtain, and actually obtain a prize.' 
The line is purposely rhetorical. The point of the word 
'porchase^' is that it is used in its literal sense of hunting 
after, seeking to obtain, and not of acquiring with effort. 
p., who interprets the word in this way, finds that the figure 
is not expressive. The whole line is an idiomatic way of 
saying, 'many find here the prey they seek.' 

440. supplantore3 : cp. with reference to the interpretation 
of Jacob's name, * supplanter als of heritage,' ' Cursor 
Mundi,' 3744. 

441-4. Cp. 'Cursor Mundi/ 11. 20799-21801 : 

' Bot wel we wat, wit-outen wene, 
Of heuen and erth )?at scho es queue, 
Bath imperice and heind leuedi.' 

442. bayly : literally, 'jurisdiction'; observe that the 
word is accented on the second syllable, and rhymes with 
'cortaysye'; 'bayly/ from O.F. baillie, is to be carefully 
distinguished from ' bayly/ a fortress, which represents O.K. 
bail, baile, bailie. This latter word appears as 'bayly,' 
1. 315, and 'baly/ instead of ' bayle/ 1. 1083. 

140 PEARL. 

446. property : cp. 1. 752. 

451. ]?o fyue: this seems to mean 'those five, 3 i. e. five 
such. But the phrase is difficult. The poet wishes to say 
' were five times their value.' * Five ' is often used idio 
matically, cp. 1. 849. 

459. naule: i.e. navel, a very common form in the four 
teenth century, from O.K. nafela, still found in the dialects ; 
see N.E.D. and E.D.D. Cp. I Cor. xii. 12-27. O., in 
commenting on my rendering of the word, condemns it, as 
being 'regardless of phonology, sense, or poetic delicacy.' 
As regards phonology, it is very difficult to know exactly 
what phonological laws he applies. Every known law 
would corroborate the form, and indeed, in Old Frisian, the 
forms are both 'navla ' and 'naula.' In respect of O.'s own 
rendering 'nail,' from O.N. nagli, in the first instance 
' nagli ' does not mean ' the nail of the hand ' (which in 
O.N. is 'nagl'), but 'a nail or spike.' Anyhow, the modern 
English ' nail ' is from O.E. nasgl, giving the normal 
M.E. nail. No possible form such as 'naule' is found, 
or could be expected, from either the O.E. or O.N. forms. 
The sense and poetic delicacy, of which I am alleged 
to be unappreciative, need no defence. It may be, however, 
pointed out that St. Paul himself refers to members of the 
body which we think to be less honourable, and even 
Shakespeare in the play of ' Coriolanus,' where the parable 
of the body's members rebelling against the belly figures 
strikingly, actually uses the phrase 'the navel of the State' 
(III. i. 123), though in a later part of the play. 

460. temen : belong to, in the sense of ministering to, 
subserving ; cp. ' Cleanness,' 9, temew to hy m seluen, i. e. 
are attached to His service. 

t[r]yste: for scribal omission of r cp. stjYjyke}, 1186. 
The omission may be an r superscript ; cp. tr/ys, 1. 755. 
The phrase 'true and trist' occurs in M.E., cp. ' trist and 
trewe,' N.E.D. under ' trist.' There can be little doubt that 
this is the correct reading. O. explains 'tyste' as from 
O.N. J?ettr, i.e. tight. But the idea underlying 'temen,' 


and therefore this qualifying phrase, is the loyalty of service, 
and the fidelity and faithfulness is well brought out by the 
phrase 'trwe and t[r]yste,' though it would be possible to 
explain the form ' tyste ' as parallel phonologically to ' myste.' 

462. myste: for the general 'my3t'; cp. 'my^te,' 1069, 
rhyming with ' ny^t,' etc. ' st ' for ' 31 ' is a very common 
writing in MSS. of the thirteenth century and earlier. It is 
also found in the fourteenth century. Editors have frequently 
taken the spelling to be erroneous, and have corrected it 
accordingly. There can be little doubt that the symbol was 
intentional. Dr. Hall, in his edition of ' King Horn' (Oxford, 
1901), discussing the form 'doster' in one of the MSS., deals 
with 'st' as a mere graphic variation of 'ht'and '31.' It 
would seem, however, from the present passage, that the 
' st ' became in some dialects a phonological variant of a 
sound which was originally difficult for French palates. 
It is not merely, in this passage, a question of spelling for 
the sake of rhyme ; it is a most valuable piece of evidence 
as regards pronunciation. 

463. gawle: /.^.bitterness; O.E. gealla, bile. The word 
must, I think, be differentiated from 'galle,' 11. 189, 915, 
1060. The phrase ' without gall ' in the first two passages 
seems to represent O.N. galla-lauss, faultless, from 'galli,' 
a fault, and in the third place, ' scum ' ; cp. glass-gall. In 
'Patience,' 285, however, we have the phrase 'gaule of 
propheter,' so it looks as though in this latter sense, 'gaule ' 
were a variant of 'galle.' 

463-4. These lines form a question, which is answered in 
the next couplet. 

469-70. 'I allow that courtesy and great charity are 
among you.' O. annotates that the line = 'I leue cortayse 
and chary te be grete amowg yow.' 

480. ' than to be crowned king,' hence the necessary 
change of the MS. 'ho' to 'he' in the previous line. 

485. naw)?er Pater ne Crede : according to the Boke of 
Curtasye,' when the young child first went to school, it 
learned the Pater and Creed : 

142 PEARL. 

* Yf that Ipou. be a 3ong enfaunt, 
And thenke ]?o scoles for to haunt, 
This lessouw schalk ]?y maistwr ]?e merke, 
Croscrist ]?e spede in alle ]?i werke ; 
Sytthen Ipy pater nostey he wille ]?e teche, 
As cristes owne postles con preche ; 
Aftwr ]?y Aue mam? and )?i crede, 
]?at shall<? ]?e saue at dome of drede.' 

(' Early English Meals and Manners,' p. 181.) 
488. away : cp. 350. 

492. date: 'goal 3 ; it is difficult to find any other word 
that will express its various meanings of time and place in 
this section. 

497. your messe : Matt. xx. 1-16 ; the pronoun indicat 
the detachment of the speaker from even earthly worship 
cp. 11. 1 06 1 -2. 

499. In-sample : I still prefer to read this as one word, 
the direct object of 'gesse.' The ' \n ' of the scribe may be 
in place of the author's 'en,' owing to the 'm' of the 
previous lines. 

he : I take the word to stand for Christ, and not, as O. 
attributes it, to St. Matthew. This misunderstanding, to 
my mind, is due to reading the lines erroneously, with a 
comma at the end of 1. 496, and a semi-colon at 1. 498. 

500. lykne} hit : /. e. the parable ; cp. 501. 

502. I wate : cp. wot, 47; but 'abate,' 1. 617, also used 
for the sake of rhyme. 

503. terme : /. e. season ; cp. * Gawain,' 1671, 

' Hit wat^ ne^ at ]?e terme ]?at he to schulde.' 

I do not agree with O. that 'terme' here means 'end/ and 
that " '^ere' is evidently thought of as ending immediately 
after the grape-harvest, in mid-autumn." This seems to 
ignore 'of tyme,' but anyhow, the sense of the line seems 
simple and straightforward. 

505. [h]ys : MS. ]?ys. I still keep my proposed emenda 
tion, though I now understand, as I think the real 





significance of the line thus emended. It has hitherto been 
argued that ' hyne,' as the hirelings, had not previously been 
referred to; and O., keeping the MS. reading, interprets the 
line as a general observation addressed to the reader, 
meaning, ' These hirelings as a class well know that season 
of year (vintage), and went to present themselves for hire.' 
But 'hyne,' as I take the word, is just the opposite of 
hirelings, and the word implies ' those of his own house 
hold.' His household, i. e. his trusty ones, they well know 
the season and what is expected of them ; it is to supple 
ment their dutiful service that workmen are hired, who 
afterwards haggle about their pay. The whole idea has 
been evolved from the use of the word ' paterfamilias' in the 
parable ; the 'hyne' are the 'familia.' Cp. the last line but 
one of the poem, ' He gef vus to be his homly hyne.' The 
word also occurs in 1. 632, not as designating the labourers, 
as O. states, but the innocent, who having been but an hour 
in the vineyard, are by grace God's * hyne,' i. e. of the 
Divine household. In 11. 585-8 it is clearly pointed out that 
those who have toiled longer may have to wait for their 
wage. Further, some of the workmen who are satisfied 
receive their hire, and are dismissed, * Take that is thine 
own, and go.' In 1. 572, * For mony ben calle[d], Tpa.$ fewe 
be myke^,' the ' myke^ ' are the ' elect! ' and the ' hyne.' 
An interesting corroboration of my theory is to be found in 
the O.E. renderings of ' paterfamilias ' in this very passage ; 
the Rushworth Gloss gives ' hina faeder,' the Lindisfarne 
' higna faeder.' 

513. Aboute vnder: cp. circa horam tertiam, Matt. xx. 3. 

523. resnabelef: MS. resonabele. From metrical stand 
points, evidently a scribal alteration of the poet's 'resnabele' 
or 'renable.' So 'Piers Plowman' B., Prologue, 158, 'A 
raton of renon most renable of tonge,' where the C. text 
reads ' resonable,' and also ' resnable.' The line means 
' what reasonable hire shall be due by night.' 

528. wyl day : I now reject my original proposal of 
reading the two words as one, 

144 PEARL. 

529. MS. at ]?e day of date. The scribe has evidently 
transposed ' day ' and ' date,' the meaning being that ' at the 
time of day of evensong.' 

530. go : to be taken as subjunctive ; ' one hour before 
the sun should sink.' 

536. J?at at: 'fvzt' antecedent of the Northern relative 
pronoun ' at.' 

542. menyf : MS. meyny, rhyming with * repren[y],' MS. 
reprene, peny, etc., cp. Note on 313. 

553. serued: i.e. deserved, not as O. glosses, 'served,' 
as is clear from the words ' vus pynk so.' 

558. wani[n]g : the ordinary contraction indicating ' n ' is 
omitted in the MS., but there is a little mark over the 'i' of 
an unusual character. I am inclined to think that the mark 
indicated the intention of the scribe to correct the word to 
' wrang.' The poet may well have written this word, 
translating the Vulgate ' amice non facio tibi injuriam.' 

565. More, we]?er l[e]uyly : MS. more we]?<?r louyly. 
This line has hitherto proved a crux. In the first place, 
'more ' has been misunderstood. Its force is simply 'more 
over,' and it is not merely a mark of interrogation, or a 
comparative modifying the adjective of the sentence. 
'Louyly' I take to be a scribal error for l[e]uyly = O.N. 
leyfiligr, i. e. permitted or allowed. The words translate 
* Aut non licet.' M.E. leflich is a different word, from O.E. 
leofllc, loveable. The M.E. word corresponding to the 
present word is 'leueful,' cp. 'leesome,' i.e. M.E. lefsum, 
from O.E. lef, leaf, permission. So far as I know, 'l[e]uyly ' 
is not recorded elsewhere in English, and has not been 
identified before. O.'s ' l[awe]ly ' cannot stand. 

Further, the first four lines of this stanza are the poet's 
translation of the Vulgate, ' Aut non licet mihi quod volo 
facere, an oculus tuus nequam est, quia ego bonus sum,' 
Matt. xx. 1 5. The third and fourth lines give the alternative 
section of the question ; the second Wycliffite version 
reading : ' Whether it is not leueful to me to do that that Y 
wole ? Whether thin i^e is wicked, for Y am good ? ' The 


idiom of 1. 567 is due to the interrogative 'we]?<?r' being 
understood. The two couplets are therefore parallel, as in 
the Vulgate, and the second is not a mere affirmative 
statement, as O. punctuates. 

568. by-swyke^ : ist pr. ind., an exceptional (Northern) 
inflexion, necessitated by the rhyme. 

572. myke$ : I am now inclined to doubt my original 
suggestion, which seemed plausible, and has been accepted, 
that 'myke}' represented O.N. 'mikill' and meant 'great 
ones.' It is true 'mike,' as I pointed out, is found in 
' Havelok ' as an adjective for ' mikel,' but no instance occurs 
of the word as a noun. ' Myke} ' translates ' electi,' and it 
would appear that 'mik' in the sense of 'a near friend,' 
existed in Northern English. It occurs in ' Cursor Mundi,' 
2807, in the phrase ' sun or doghter, mik or mau,' and in 
Harding's 'Chronicle* (Harding was a Northerner) 'the 
i Dukes preuy myke ' occurs. N.E.D. quotes both these 
j passages as illustrating the present word. It would appear, 
therefore, that 'myke' means 'someone very near,' even 
j more than a kinsman. The sense of the word in the present 
passage must mean, ' chosen as special friend, a privy 
friend.' It suggests the phrase ' homly hyne,' 1. 1211; see Note 
on 1. 505. The word seems to be of Scandinavian origin. 

588. to-^ere : the ordinary meaning of this is ' this year,' 
but here this accepted sense does not bring out the force of 
the line, which suggests long years to come, rather than this 
year. Now in North Lancashire the word is used in this 
jidiomatic sense. Cp. ' I have not seen it te-ere' = yet, for 
la long time, never, E.D.D. 

We get something of the same idiomatic use in Chaucer, 
'Cant. Tales,' D. 166-8, the humour of the line being lost 
r.hrough the line not being understood : 

' I was aboute to wedde a wyf, alias ! 
What sholde I bye it on my flesh so dere ? 
Yet hadde I lever wedde no wyf to-yere.' 

I 593. Vulgate, Ps. Ixi. 12, 13 (Authorised Version, Ps. Ixii. 

146 PEARL. 

12) : * Semel locutus est Deus, duo haac audivi, quia 
potestas Dei est, et tibi Domine misericordia : quia tu 
reddes unicuique juxta opera sua.' This passage of the 
Psalms lent itself to many exegetical interpretations, and the 
words and the thought, especially the rendering to each man 
according to his work, are often found in both Old and New 
Testaments, as may be seen from the marginal references to 
the passage. But in the present passage I venture to 
propose that we have a distinct reference to i Peter i. 17-20, 
as evidenced by my suggested interpretation of 1. 596. 

596. ay p[re]termynable : this word is not recorded else 
where, nor is it found in late Latin, though N.E.D. suggests 
that it may represent a scholastic Latin ' preterminabilis.' 
There is no evidence in support of this, nor of the apparent 
meaning, in an active sense, * predetermining, pre-ordaining.' 
' PjV/jtermynable ' is evidently for ' predetermynable,' 
for the purpose of euphony and rhyme. We know the 
meaning of ' determynable,' i. e. fixed, determined ; there 
fore ' pjV^jtermynable ' should mean ' fixed beforehand, j 
pre-ordained, 3 and this, ! think, is the meaning of the word I 
here. ' Thou high King, i. e. Christ, pre-ordained from the | 
beginning, 3 with a reference to i Peter- i. 20, ' praecogniti j 
quidem ante mundi constitutionem. 3 Accordingly, I do not ! 
agree with Professor Carleton Brown, that the word here 
suggests a definite acquaintance with the ' predeterminatio ' 
of the Schoolmen, nor with O. 3 s comments on the passage, 
amplifying the idea of ' fore-ordaining 3 with reference to the 

605. chyche : Professor Carleton Brown appositely quotes 
from Richard Rolle, ' De Gracia, 3 cp. Horstmann, ' Richard 
Rolle of Hampole,' I. 133, ' God is na chynche of his grace ; j - 
for he haues ynogh Iperofe for Ipofe he dele it neuer so 
ferre / ne to so mony : he haues neuer ]?e lesse ; for hiw i 
vvantes noght bot clene vessels : til do his grace inne.' 
' Chyche 3 is the older form, coexisting with ' chynche,' seei 
N.E.D. under ' chinch.' 

609. Misunderstanding of this passage has generally been 


due to assuming that ' hys ' repeated in sense the previous 
occurrences of the word in the lines preceding, and referred 
to God. But the thought has changed, and the reference is 
here to man. The freedom or liberty of that man is ample, 
who has ever stood in fear towards Him Who makes rescue 
in sin, t. e. there is freedom in heaven where there has been 
fear on earth. The thought is evidently derived from Ps. 
cxviii. 45 (English version, Ps. cxix.) : * Et ambulabam in 
latitudine : quia mandata tua exquisivi.' Cp. Newman's 
' Dream of Gerontius ' : 


I feel in me 

An inexpressive lightness, and a sense 
Of freedom, as I were at length myself, 
And ne'er had been before. . . . 


It is because 
Then thou didst fear, that now thou dost not fear.' 

As further parallel to this passage, I may quote from the 
same poem : 

O loving wisdom of our God ! 

When all was sin and shame 
A second Adam to the fight 
And to the rescue came.' 

dard : in the sense of ' lurked in dread,' i. e. feared, would 
under ordinary conditions be followed by 'from,' and not 
' to,' but the thought is not of fear that recoils, but the 
attitude of fear towards God. Accordingly the poet uses 
' to ' instead of ' from.' O.'s suggestion that ' dard ' may be 
an error for ' fard,' /'. e. fared, seems to me altogether 
untenable, as destructive of the poet's meaning. 

610. rescoghe : in retaining the MS. reading in place of 
'[no] scoghe,' suggested by Morris, I pointed out in 

148 PEARL. 

'Academy,' July n, 1891, that the line is a poetical peri 
phrasis for ' the Rescuer, the Saviour.' The technical sense 
of ' rescue ' applies in a special way to Christ as the rescue 
of souls from Limbo (cp. O.F. rescousse, * 1'action de delivi 
un prisonnier qui 1'ennemi emmene'). 

616. [hjere: MS. lere; for /written for >&, cp. 210. Thepoet 
regular form is ' hyre,' and it is possible that ' here ' = ' en 
= O.N. eyri(r), originally an ounce of silver, but used in tl 
more general sense of ' sum of money for payment.' For 
unessential h, cp. ' [hjeke,' 210. Were this suggestion 
correct, we should get over the difficulty of two words of 
identical form rhyming. Cp. O.E. ora, one-eighth of a 
mark, from O.N.^/. aurar. 

617. abate: see Note on 1. 502. 

627. babtem : cp. baptem, 653. 

628. boro^t : cp. bereste, 854. 

629-32. The meaning of these lines seems to be clear, 
though the order of the words requires careful consideration. 
The sense is * that day, flecked with darkness, makes incline 
to the might of death those who had never wrought wrong 
ere they went thence.' The thought of the passage is 
missed by taking it, as O. interprets, 'Anon the day, in 
dented with darkness, doth yield to the power of death.' 
In consequence of this erroneous rendering, the two lines 
that follow are taken together by him, with awkward effect. 

632. hyne : see Note on 1. 505. 

^SS- }ys : the last letter is well-nigh faded. Morris 
suggested ' $y[rd] ' ; I originally proposed ' 3y[ld] ' ; O. was 
at a loss to read the letter or letters after ' y.' 

647. plyt: see Note on 'ply^t,' 1075. 

652. Ipe deth secounde : see Rev. xx. 14, xxi. S. 

654. glayue : /. e. the spear of Longeus, from John xix. 34. 
The story is amplified in the Gospel of Nicodemus, whence 
came the name Longinus (or Longeus), probably from Gk. 
A<*7Xf, a spear. 

656. wyth in: MS. wythine. But the MS. reading is j 
clearly due to a scribal error which has destroyed not only 


the sense, but also the right rhythm of the line. The 
meaning is simply, ' By means of which Adam drowned 
us in death. 3 O. keeps ' wythimie ' and considers the line 
as a case of the poet's ' asyntactic style ' ; he renders as 
follows: 'the offence which Adam [by bringing upon us] 
drowned us in death.' 

659. & ]?at, i.e. & bot ]?at, continuing the previous sentence. 

672. at in-oscen[c]e : MS. i-oscente, obviously a scribal 
error, for in every other case in the poem * inoscent ' has no 
final -e. I take the phrase to mean ' according to (his) 
innocence.' O. keeps ' m-oscente,' and suggests that 'at' 
may be a scribal error for *]?at,' objecting to my reading 
as forced, and contrary to the ordinary idiom, 'by' being 
the preposition elsewhere. But ' at ' may be paralleled by 
'at my Prynce^ paye,' 1164. 

678. Vulgate, Ps. xxiii. 3, 4 (A.V., Ps. xxiv.). 

680. I have little doubt that this was suggested by some 
commentary that the poet had before him, for I find in the 
Anglo-Saxon version of the parallel Psalm (Vulgate xiv. 2, 
Authorised Version xv. 2), 'He that walketh uprightly,' the 
following introductory words not in the original text : J?a 
andswarode Drihten J?ass witgan mode, ]?urh onbryrdnesse 
J?aes halgan gastes ; and cwaej? se witga, Ic wat, ]?eah ic 
ahsige, Hwa ]?aei earda]? ? z. e. the Lord inspires the prophet 
to ask the question, of which he knows the answer. 

68 1. Hondelynge} harme }?at dyt not ille : I take the whole 
of this line to be a paraphrase of ' innocens manibus ' ; 

hondelynge^' is an adverb, and not a noun, as formerly 
taken, and means 'with his own hands.' The word puzzled 
me until I found a striking illustration of its adverbial use in 
Anglo-Saxon : ' Nis be him gersed Sast he handlinga senigne 
man acwealdo,' i.e. 'It is not read of him [/. e. St. Paul] that 
he killed any man with his own hands,' ^Ifric's ' Homilies,' 
ed. Thorpe, i. 386. The literal meaning of the line is : 
'He that with his own hands did no injury through evil 
iintent.' 'Ille' is not a pleonasm, as might be supposed, 
but brings out the full sense of the original. 

150 PEARL. 

683. This may have been suggested by Vulgate, Ps. xxv. 
12 (Authorised Version, Ps. xxvi.), catching up v. 8. 

685-8. This continues Ps. xxiii. (Vulgate), paraphrasing 
the remaining part of v. 4, ' qui non accepit in vano animam 
suam, nee juravit in dolo proximo suo.' It is noteworthy 
that the words 'proximo suo,' 'to his neighbour,' are not 
in the ordinary Hebrew text nor in the Authorised Version, 
but are found in the Wycliffite and Prayer Book versions, 
1 whiche took not his soule in vayn, nether swoor in gile to 
his ne^bore' (later Wycliffite version). I do not think there 
is any reference in the passage to Ps. xiv. (Vulgate), as has 
been suggested. 

690. How kyntly oure [Koyntyse hym] con aqayle: MS. 
omits [koyntyse hym]. Dr. Henry Bradley in 'Academy' 
xxxviii. p. 201, pointed out the source of this passage, 
namely, Wisdom, ch. x. 10. The obscurity of the line 
was due to the scribe's omission of some word or two. | 
Dr. Bradley suggested the reading ' how [koyntyse onoure],' 
but I think the simpler solution is the reading I have 
suggested in the text. Koyntyse = sapientia. The verse in 
Wisdom, speaking of ' sapientia,' says, with reference to 
Jacob : ' Hsec profugum iras fratris justum deduxit per vias j 
rectas, et ostendit illi regnum Dei.' The later Wycliffite \ 
version, commenting on ' schewide to hym the rewme of ) 
God,' explains in the margin that this has reference to 
Jacob's vision of the ladder that reached to Heaven, for \ 
then he had revelation of the heavenly Jerusalem. To the 
medieval reader, Koyntyse or Wisdom = Christ. Cp. St. I 
Augustine, 'De Trinitate,' iv. 20, 'Cum pronunciatur in 
Scriptura aut enarratur aliquid de sapientia sive dicente ipsa 
sive cum de ilia dicitur, Filius nobis potissimum insinuatur.' ; 
' Koyntyse ' occurs, according to my interpretation of the 
line, in the same sense in ' Patience' 39, '& by quest of her 
quoyntyse enquylen on mede,' i. e. by the decision of their 
Wisdom (i.e. Christ) they receive one reward. The word | 
' aquyle ' occurs again in 1. 967. 

693. yle : not ' island,' as formerly interpreted by me, nor 


'remote province or land,' as O. proposes, from secondary 
uses of the word instanced by N.E.D., but in all proba 
bility in the sense in which the word occurs in ecclesiastical 
Latin, ' temple,' with reference to the heavenly Jerusalem, as 
in the Wycliffite gloss ; it repeats the idea of ' pyle,' 1. 686. 
699-700. Ps. cxliii. 2 (Authorised Version). 

702. [cjryed: MS. tryed, but as this word occurs again 
in the last line but one of the stanza, I think one may 
safely restore the poet's obvious reading, with its fine 
alliterative effect. 

703. alegge, /'. e. renounce, O.E. alecgan, to give up. The 
whole force of the passage is missed by taking it to be 
F. alegier, as glossed by O., in the sense of 'to urge in 
one's defence.' 

703. in-nome, /. e. taken in, received. I do not know of 
the occurrence of the word elsewhere in English, but it 
evidently existed apart from the- present passage ; cp. O. 
Frisian, innima, to receive (Richthofen, Altfriesisches 
Worterbuch, 1840). O. erroneously refers the word to 
O.E. genomen, comparing the 'i//-' with the prefix in such 
words as 'inliche,' 'innoghe.' 

709. For 'ry^twysly,' with accent on the first and third 
syllables, cp. delfully, 706. As regards the second half of 
the line, if the MS. is correct, 'quo' must be regarded as a 
monosyllabic foot. 

711-24. The reference is evidently to Luke xviii. 15-17 
(in view of 1. 721, cp. v. 16, 'Jesus autem convocans illos') 
in preference to Mark x. 13-16, or Matt. xix. 13-15. 

I do not agree with O. that we have here any case of the 
poet's memory adapting scriptural material from several 
passages, and therefore blending the versions of Mark and 
Luke with that of Matthew, nor that 1. 717 is more consistent 
with Matthew's account. Nor do I hold with him that 
'mylde,' in 1. 721, reverts to Matt, xviii. 2, and that 'mylde' 
= parvulum, a little child. ' Hys mylde 5 can hardly be 
anything but the disciples, the twelve; cp. O.N. guSs 
mildingr, a man of God. It is noteworthy that the poet 

152 PEARL. 

here rhymes a pi. adj., used as a noun, with the monosyllabi< 
1 chylde.' 

726. sulpande : i. e. defiling. The origin of the word 
obscure, and N.E.D. notes that it is possibly related t< 
dial. Ger. sulper, solper, bog, mud. It is noteworthy th< 
' sulp,' also written ' soolp,' occurs in the Shetland and Orkm 
dialect in the sense of 'a wet state of ground, a marsl 
This is probably, in my opinion, the same word, and furth( 
the Northern English 'sowp,' in the sense of 'to drench, 
soak,' may well be the variant of the word. Arising from 
the theme of 'Cleanness,' the word occurs in that poem 
-*- some five times, namely 575 (by-sulpe^), 15, 550, 1130, 


730. Ipnxi perre pres : *'. t. among excellent gems ; cp. Matt. 

xiii. 45) 'quaerenti bonas margaritas.' 'Prys' occurs as an 
adj. in this sense in 'Gawain' 1945, 'suche prys ]?i#ges'; 
but the form 'pres,' if used as an adj. here, must be com 
pared with the noun 'prese,' 419. 

734. Note the caesura after ' fore,' which governs a relative 
pronoun understood. 

735. heuenes [sp]ere: MS. heuenesse clere, but the spell 
ing 'heuenesse' is suspicious, nor is it likely that the 
poet would repeat 'clere' as a rhyme. He had in mind 
the imperial heaven or celestial 'sphere,' where God and 
the angels were said to dwell. The seven (or later the 
eleven) spheres, are often referred to, see under ' heaven ' 4, 
and ' sphere,' N.E.D. Concerning the spheres, see Caxton's 
' Mirrourof the World,' ed. Prior, E.E.T.S. Extra Series CX., 
especially ch. xxiii., on the Celestial Heaven. 

739. commune : evidently here used in the sense of 
'common as a possession or mark.' The spotless pearl 
is the common badge of the righteous, as the celestial 
heaven is the home they have in common. It is indeed 
the ' peculium ' of the righteous, even as is heaven. The 
pearl may not be visible on the righteous while on earth, 
though in heaven it becomes the visible emblem of the 
sinless, but it is none the less their common badge. The 


passage is somewhat subtle, but I do not agree with O. that 
it is somewhat confused. There are in commentaries on 
Matt. xiii. 45-6 many different interpretations of the pearl, 
but in this verse the poet makes it clear that 'righteousness' 
comprehends them all. 

740. hit stode : this seeming past tense has hitherto been 
accepted as the poet's loose way of making the tense accom 
modate itself to the rhyme, for one would expect the present. 
The poet, however, has not done this; 'stode' is a sub 
stantive corresponding to the modern ' stud,' in its original 
sense of 'support,' here suggestive of the setting. 'Hit' is 
the possessive pronoun ; cp. 11. 108, 120, 224, 446. The 
omission of the verb after ' lo ' is characteristic ; cp. 11. 693, 
822. The present instance of ' stode ' antedates by many 
years the instances of the word given in N.E.D. 

742. pes : cp. 1. 1 201. 

748-9. Cp. ' Romaunt of the Rose ' where Reason, whose 
attributes are so closely transferred to Pearl, is described 
in the Chaucerian version : 

' Hir goodly semblaunt, by devys, 
I trowe wore maad in paradys ; 
Nature had never such a grace 
To forge a werk of such compace. 
For certeyn, but the letter lye, 
God him-silf, that is so high, 
Made hir aftir his image' (11. 3205-11.) 

750. Pymalyon : the story of Pygmalion is given at length 
in the ' Romaunt of the Rose,' and it is interesting that 
Chaucer, as our poet, had in mind the passage in question 
in 'Canterbury Tales,' C. 10-15. 

' Lo ! I, Nature, 

Thus can I forme and peynte a creature, 
Whan that me list ; who can me countrefete? 
Pigmalion noght, though he ay forge and bete, 
Or grave, or peynte.' 

154 PEARL. 

See Professor Skeat's note on the passage, Vol, V., 
pp. 260-1. 

751. Arystotel : references to the philosopher are, of 
course, very common in medieval literature generally ; but 
the use of the word * pr0pert[y]3 ' suggests knowledge of 
medieval logic. 

lettrure: learning or science; cp. 'Gawain,' 1513, ']?e 
lettrure of armes.' I do not agree with O. that * writings, 
books' seems more appropriate, though this sense of the 
word is found. 

753. flour-de-lys : cp. Hymn to the Virgin, * Heil fairer 
then the flour de lys,' N.E.D. under ' fleur-de-lys. 3 

755. of triys : i.e. of truce, very much in the sense of 
'peace' in 1. 742. Pearl has stated that the pearl has been 
placed on her breast in token of peace. ' What kind of 
peace,' asks the father, ' bears as symbol or token the spot 
less pearl?' In the lines that follow the answer is given. 

' of triys ' is written in the MS. with a small * after the / as 
the usual abbreviation for rf. 

O. reads 'offys,' and maintains that this is the reading of 
the MS., and that the second /is spread. From a careful 
examination of words containing ff t I have no doubt that 
the reading * of tr/ys ' is correct. 

759-60.*".*. 'chose me as His bride, although unfitting 
that union might once have seemed (while I was on earth).' 
There should be no pause after 'vnmete,' and the whole 
sense of the passage is lost by placing a full-stop after ' wete.' 
The stanza has hitherto been misinterpreted. 

763-4. Song of Sol. iv. 7-8, ' tota pulchra es arnica mea, et 
macula non est in te. Veni de Libano sponsa mea ; veni de 
Libano, veni.' The verse, as pointed out by Dr. Holthausen, 
is quoted far and wide in medieval literature ; cp. ' Olympia,' 
1. 235. Chaucer puts the same refrain, as though it were a 
popular catch, in the mouth of his Friar, Prologue, 1. 672. 

768. [He] py^t: MS. & py3t, probably due to the '' in 
the previous line. The sense and force of the line seem to 
be restored by the emendation. 


769. bryd: O., printing 'byrd' in his note, thinks that the 
poet intends a pun. The context, he says, points unmis 
takably to the meaning 'bride,' but 'flambe,' cp. 1. 90, 
shows that he is thinking of * bird. 3 To my mind there is 
not the least suggestion of ' bird ' ; the bride is all radiant 
with light. 

775. a comly on-vunder cambe : 'a comely one under 
comb ' is one of many ' kennings ' for a woman ; the only 
instance I can call to mind is from Cromek's ballad of ' The 
Lord's Mairie' : 

' Come, here's thy health, young stranger doo, 
Wha wears the gowden kame.' 

786. [fowre] : not in MS., but it is hardly likely that the 
poet would have been inaccurate in the number, seeing that 
he gives the reference to the Apocalypse, and quotes the 
correct number, 11. 869-70 ; cp. Rev. xiv. i. 

791-2. Rev. xix. 7-8. 

799-804, 807-8. Isa. liii. 4-9. 

817. [In] Jerusalem : I propose the insertion of [i], as 
without some such words there is apparently no syntax in 
the lines, and in the beginning of each of the other verses 
the refrain is ' o ' or ' in,' taken from the last words of the 
previous stanzas. 

The reference to John's baptizing in Jerusalem, Jordan, 
and Galilee, on which occasions his words accorded to 
Isaiah, presents difficulties. The words of Isaiah to which 
reference is made would seem to be Isa. xl. 3-8, 'The 
voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the 
way of the Lord,' etc. In Matt. iii. i he speaks these 
words when preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, evidently 
near Jerusalem, for the people went out to him from there. 
In Mark i. 4 the passage is well-nigh the same. In Luke 
iii. 3 he baptized in 'the country about Jordan.' From these 
passages Jerusalem and Jordan might be associated with his 
baptizing and reference to Isaiah's words. Hitherto the 
difficulty has been the poet's reference to Galilee. O. states 

156 PEARL. 

that * J?er-as' of 1. 818 must refer to Jordan. 'There is no 
account,' he writes, 'of John's having preached or baptized 
elsewhere than in the region of Jordan/ and he adds 
that Herod, who imprisoned and beheaded John, was 
Tetrarch of Galilee, and suggests that this accounts for the 
place being named. Our poet, however, had excellent 
authority in John i. 28, where A.V. reads ' Bethabara beyond 
Jordan,' but the Vulgate reads ' Bethania trans lordanem,' 
so too the Wycliffite versions. It was because of the words 
'trans lordanem' that Origen preferred the reading 'Beth 
abara,' though the MS. evidence was admittedly against it, 
seeing that it could not be the Bethany referred to in the 
Gospel, which was to the east of Jerusalem on the road to 
Jericho. As Jesus, according to Matt. iii. 13 and Mark 
i. 9, came from Galilee, so that ' Bethany beyond Jordan ' 
may well have been identified with the neighbourhood of 
Galilee, Conder (' Encyc. Biblica,' under ' Bethabara ') sug 
gests the identification of the spot with the Makhadet 
'Abara, N.E. of Beisan. It is noteworthy that after the 
words 'hsec in Bethania facta sunt trans lordanem,' John 
adds 'ubi erat Joannes baptizans,' even as our poet writes in 
I. 818 ' }?er-as baptysed ]?e goude Saywt Jon,' so that ' Galalye' 
is pointedly the antecedent of 'p>er-as,' and further, the 
original of 11. 820-4 immediately follows in the Gospel, 
John i. 29. 

824. vpon : prep, placed after the pronoun it governs, i. e. 
1 vpon J?at ' ; but probably without any idea of ' accumulation 
or amassing 'as O. suggests. Its force is little more than 
'at,' cp. 'vpon fyrst,' 'Gawain,' 11. 9, 301, 1934. The 
sense is, therefore, 'at which all this world has worked' ; cp. 
'My wreched wylle in wo ay wra^te.' In 1. 1054 'vpone' 
rhymes with 'mone.' 

825-8. These lines are not to be considered as expanding 
the quotation from John i. 29, but as amplification from 
Isaiah liii. 6-9. 

826. on hym self he con al clem, cp. Isa. liii. 6, 'posuit 
Dominus in eo iniquitatem omnium nostrum.' For the form 


'clem,' instead of the usual 'claim/ see N.E.D. under 
'claim.' M. suggested 'clem'<O.E. clseman, to smear; 
'cleme' occurs in 'Cleanness,' 1. 312, in the sense of 'daub.' 
It is hardly likely that the poet would use this word in the 
present passage. 

834. In Apokalype} : from here to 1. 1128 the Apocalypse 
is the main source of the poet's inspiration. 

835-7. Cp. Rev. v. 6-8, I, 

836. sajt, MS. sayt} ; the MS. reading is more likely to 
have been due to ' sa^ ' than ' sy^,' as the form ' sat3 ' (= sayt}) 
is used ; cp. 1. 677. 

838. Cp. Rev. v. i. 

839. Rev. v. 13. 

841-4. i Peter i. 19; cp. Exod. xii. 5. Rev. i. 14; cp. 
Dan. vii. 9. 

843. mask[e]lle : MS. masklle ; perhaps the correct reading 
should be 'maskle' ; cp. wyt^-outen mote oper mascle, 726, 
maskle, ' Cleanness,' 556. 

845-6. Rev. xiv. 5. 

848. [n]o]?er strot ne stryf : MS. non ofyer, but usual form 
in MS. is 'nau]?er.' The extension of this form into 'non 
o]?er ' may have been due to intermediate forms ' nowther ' ; 
cp. ' Gawain,' 659, ' nojw,' the ' non ; being due to an effort to 
explain the following 'bot.' 

853-64. This, if any, of the six stanzas in this section, may 
represent a discarded stanza that has been against the poet's 
intention copied by the first copyist. 

859-60. 'We have fullest knowledge of this one thing, 
namely, that salvation comes to us from the One Death.' 
This, I think, must be the meaning of these lines. Anyhow, 
the second of the two lines cannot possibly mean, as O. 
translates, ' Our dread of the bodily death hath been realized.' 

866-900. In Appocalyppece : cp. Rev. xiv. 1-5. 

869. & wyth hym maydenne^ : cp. 'virgines enim sunt,' 
Rev. xiv. 4. In the original, 'virgines' refers specifically to 
chaste men, but the poet is evidently using 'maydenne3' in 
the more limited sense of virgins ; cp. 11. 785-8. So in earlier 

158 PEARL. 

homiletic literature ; cp. ' Hali Meidenhad,' ed. Cockayne, 
E.E.TS. 1866, p. 22. 

874. Cp. ' tanquam vocem aquarum multarum,' Rev. xiv. 2. 
l[e]den, MS. laden, probably with the idea of 'heavily 

laden ' ; the emendation is justified by 1. 878. 

875. Cp. 'tanquam vocem tonitrui magni,' Rev. xiv. 2. 
Crowes in torre 3 bio : probably little more than * hurtles in 

lowring skies,' literally, peaks, then the peak-like cloud- 
shapes ; cp. 'Cleanness,' 951, ' Clowde^ clustered bytwene 
kesten vp torres.' In the alliterative 'Troy Book,' 1893, 
' torres ' = high peak-like waves. 

879. a note ful nwe : i. e. a new tune. ' Note ' is a synonym 
for ' song ' in 1. 882. I do not think it carries, as O. suggests, 
any suggestion of 'note,' 1. 155, in the sense of 'matter.' 

88 1. Cp. Vulgate, Rev. xiv. 2, ' sicut citharoedorum cithariz- 
antium in citharis suis ; ' first Wycliffite version ' as of harpers 
harpinge in her harpis.' 

883. a gentyl carpe: i.e."* noble theme. I take 'carpe' 
to refer to the matter of the song ; cp. ' Cleanness,' 23, 
' Kryst kydde hit hym self \n a carp one^ ' ; also ibid. 1. 1327. 
If the scribe omitted 'con' before 'carpe/ the meaning j 
would be ' In accents clear one maiden spoke' (*. e. led). 

899. moteles : cp. Rev. xiv. 5, ' sine macula sunt.' 

901-2. The movement and the thought of the lines surely i 
require that the first two lines form a complete thought, as 
indicated. O. places a full-stop after the first 'I,' and a 
comma after ' appose.' 

904. ichose : this is the only case in the four poems of a 
p.p. with i- prefixed, a mark of a more southern dialect. In 
'i-brad/ 'Cleanness,' 1693, a past tense, the prefix is equally 
anomalous, but in this case probably affected the meaning of 
the word ; cp. 'bradde,' 'Gawain,' 1. 1928. 

905. The words in the present line are evidently suggested i 
by Abraham's words in Gen. xviii. 27 ; cp. ' Cleanness,' 736, 

' J>at mul am & aske^.' 

amon[c] : MS. among. In 1. 470 ( amog' rhymes with 
1 3onge ' ; in 1. 1 165 ' flonc ' (= ' flong ') with ' ronk,' etc. 


906. Cp. 1. 269. 

909. sympelnesse : the word is perhaps suggested by 
' Simplesse,' one of the arrows of Cupid in the ' Romaunt 
of the Rose,' z. e. one of the attributes of Womanhood, that 
wound the heart of the lover. It evidently means Simplicity 
as contrasted with Pride, one of the evil arrows ; it hurts 
less than Beauty. The father has already addressed Pearl 
as a 'reken rose,' 1. 906, and he continues, ' Now, great lady, 
in whose heart was set Simplicity, I would ask for a straight 
forward answer to my question.' 

911. [w]ose: MS. blose. The word ' blose ' has proved a 
stumbling-block. Morris suggested O.N. blossi, a flame ; I 
formerly adduced O.F. bios = prive* ; O. notes 'bloss'from 
E.D.D. = a buxom young woman. But all these words are 
impossible as origins of 'blose.' I am convinced that the 
word is due to a scribal error, the bl being a scribal mis 
reading of w, which is easily mistaken in certain scripts for 
bl or bb, especially when followed by o. Moreover, the word 
'wose' may well have puzzled the scribe. It is the O.K. 
wasa, only hitherto found in the compound ' wudu-wasa,' a 
wild man of the woods, a faun or satyr. The word main 
tained itself through the centuries; our poet uses it in 
'Gawain,' 721, 'wodwos, }?at woned \n ]?e knarre^,' and it 
appears in the 'Wars of Alexander,' 1540, 'full of wodwose, 
and oper wild bestis.' The word was early used heraldically 
for the wild man, ' savage-man or wood-man/ with a club, 
generally appearing as a supporter of a shield ; cp. * Buke 
of the Howlat,' 1. 616, 'The rouch Wodwyss wyld, that 
bastounis bare.' Later, the word was corrupted into Wood- 
house ; see Strutt, ' Sports and Pastimes of the English 
People,' 1831, pp. 161, 253, 378, and cp. Note on 'wod- 
wyse,' 'Winner & Waster,' 11. 70-1. The present is the 
only instance, if I am correct, of 'wose' without 'wode,' 
but the correctness of the suggestion is borne out 
by the cross-alliteration of this and the next line taken 

Further, the word 'bustwys' is often the epithet, as N.E.D. 

160 PEARL. 

points out, of a boar or bear, meaning rude, savage, rough, 
violent. The derivation of the word is difficult. N.E.D. 
points out that in phonology and form the M.E. word 
corresponds to O.F. boisteus, A.F. boistous, Mod. Fr. 
boiteux, meaning 'lame/ which Diez refers to 'boiste,' 
box. Skeat, on the other hand, derives M.E. 'boistous' 
from the O.F. or A.F., going back to a Scand. source ; cp. 
Norw. baust. The base of this word = English 'boast' 
( = A.F. bost). 

I venture to suggest that there are really two words 
'boistous' ( = later 'boisterous') in M.E., hitherto not 
differentiated, and that the two words of different origin, 
though they may well have flowed together, are both used 
in their special senses in the present poem, the one, O.F. 
boisteus = wooden, cp. 1. 814, 'a bostwys bem,' the other 
in the present passage, in the sense of 'wild, blustering,' 
O.F. or A.F. boisteus, from Scand. root, to be bold, to 

912. bone vayl[e]: MS. bone vayl ; cp. fayly, 34, fayle, 
317. ' Bone ' is disyllabic ; cp. ' bone '916, rhyming with ' to 
done,' *won[e]' (MS. won), etc. 

915. Cp. Note on 1. 463. 

921. hone: this seems to mean 'to delay or tarry,' hence 
'to abide or be' ; see N.E.D. The origin of the word is not 
known ; the noun is common in the phrase ' without hone.' 

944. theme: //$ probably alliterative with /in 'take'; cp. 
'Patience' 358, 'J?e trwe tenor of his teme.' 

952. Cp. Rev. iii. 12, 'et nomen civitatis Dei mei novas 
Jerusalem.' Our poet, however, in using the word ' mene,' 
seems to refer to some alleged etymology of Jerusalem. 
Among the several interpretations was one meaning ' found 
ation of Shalem, i. e. God of peace.' 

Sy}t of pes : ' visio pacis ' was the commonest etymological 
interpretation of the name, being due to the attempt to 
associate the first part of the word with 'jireh,' i.e. 'will 
see'; cp. Gen. xxii. 14. 

In Old English literature from Cynewulf onward, the 


supposed etymological significance of Jerusalem is often 
referred to ; cp. Crist, 49-50 : 

'Eala, sibbe gesihft, Sancta Hierusalem, 
Cyne-stola cyst, Cristes burg-lond,' 

/. e. ' O Sight of Peace ! Holy Jerusalem ! 

Choicest of royal thrones ! Citadel of Christ.' 

961. By a scribal error, this verse begins a new section 
in the MS. 

962. The or in 'flor,' etc. = our; cp. stanza xxxvi. 

967. aquylde : cp. ' aquyle,' 690. This word, as well as the 
thought of the whole passage, is, I have little doubt, sug- 
I gested by the part of Bel Acueil, ' fitz de Courtoysie,' /. e. 
\ Fair Welcome, the son of Courtesy, who plays so important 
I a part in the ' Romaunt of the Rose.' Fair Welcome 
| instructs the lover how he may see the object of his love- 
; longing. In the Chaucerian version Bialacoil first appears 
iin 1. 2984. Similarly we have the figure of Grace Dieu, 
Jin Deguilleville's 'Plerinage de I'homme,' who instructs 
'the Pilgrim. 

j 979- tyl on a hyl : the poet does not see the city on the 

ihill, but he, being on a hill, beholds the New Jerusalem. 

|The poet is in the position of St. John, Rev. xxi. 10-11, 

f Et sustulit me in spiritu in montem magnum et altum, et 

)stendit mihi civitatem sanctam Jerusalem descendentem 

e caelo a Deo, habentem claritatem Dei.' Possibly the 

in spiritu ' of the passage accounts for the ' be veued,' 976, 

e. be brought, wafted. 

981. keued: cp. 320. N.E.D. thinks that the suggestion 
hat both these words are derived from O.N. kefja, to sink, 
s scarcely satisfactory for this passage. O. emends, and 
cads ' breued,' i.e. described, revealed. But 'keued' is 
he most fitting word in the passage. The dreamer is on 
he hill, and he sees the New Jerusalem descended, sunk 
jlown from heaven; hence the appropriateness of the word. 
I 989- Cp. Rev. xxi. 1 3. 

i6z PEARL. 

990. burnist broun : metrically these words are difficult. 
I suggest that 'broun' = 'beroun' ; cp. boro^t = bro^t, 628, 
bereste = breste, 854. As regards ' burnist,' the inchoative 
suffix received, if not the chief accent, almost an equal accent 
with the root syllable ; cp. 

* Off clothes of gold burneysshed bright.' 
(' The Adulterous Fahnouth Squire,' 1. 278, in ' Political, 
Religious and Love Poems,' E.E.T.S. 1903.) 

992. Cp. Rev. xxi. 14. 

bantele3 : cp. bantels, 1017. In 1. 1022 these bantels 
are described as 'twelue de-gres,' i.e. twelve steps, and 
we may infer that whatever is the origin of the word, 
the sense is 'risings or steps,' at the top of which the 
wall rises sheer. As regards the origin of this difficult 
word, I still adhere to my view that 'bantel' (with 
/ for d, as in other cases in this dialect) = O.F. bandel, 
derived from O.H.G. band, and signifying a projecting 
course. A series of these would form a flight of steps. 
There is little likelihood of the word being connected with 
'enbaned,' or 'embaned,'as O. suggests, though this wordj 
occurs in connection with 'bantelles' in 'Cleanness,' 1459,1 
where the reference is to the rich cups of the Temple : 

' Cou/rred cowpes foul clene, as casteles arayed, 
En-baned vnder batelment wyt^ bantelles quoy^t.' 

Here the reference is to the corbel-steps (popularly knowrj 
as corbie-steps) under the battlements. 

993. foundemente} = Vulgate ' fundamental 
997-1016. Cp. Rev. xxi. 19-20. 

icoi. he glente grene : the poet evidently had before hirr 
some Lapidary, or commentary dealing with the preciou: 
stones in the Bible, for he shows his knowledge of 

' the fynest stones faire 
That men rede in the Lapidaire;' 


as Chaucer puts it in 'The Hous of Fame,' Bk. III. 11. 261-2. 

See Skeat's note on the lines. 

As regards the green jasper, Pliny's statement is as follows: 
I 'A kind of jasper likewise there is of a green colour, and 
! the same oftentimes is transparent : and although there be 
| many other stones go beyond it in richesse, yet it retaineth 
. still the ancient glory and honour that it had' ('Sundry 
> kinds of jaspers,' Bk. XXXVII. ch. ix., Holland's translation, 
' 1634.) 

1005. ]?e emerade ... so grene of scale: cp. Pliny, 
'Emeralds for many causes deserve the third place, for 
there is not a colour more pleasing to the eye. True it is 
that we take great delight to behold green herbs and leaves 
of trees, but this is nothing to the pleasure we have in look 
ing upon the emerald, for compare it with other things, be 
they never so green, it surpasses them all in pleasant 
verdure ' (Ibid. ch. v.). 

1006. sardonyse : cp. sardonice, ' N. Test, in Scots,' ed. 
Law, Scottish Text Society, 52. 

1007. [sarde] : MS. rybe ; Vulgate sardius, with v.r. 
sardinus, Wycliffite versions, sardius. 'Sardius' was the 
(first of the precious gems on the High Priest's breast-plate ; 
|A.V. ruby, R.V. 'sardius' in text, 'ruby' in margin. It is 
(noteworthy that our poet uses ' sardiners,' probably an error 
for 'sardines,' in 'Cleanness,' 1469, a form with which he 
would have been acquainted from Rev. iv. 3 as well as 
possibly from his reading of Mandeville in French (the 
English version has 'sardone'). It is possible that the 
IFrench Mandeville's ' sardoine ' is properly sardonyx. The 
poet could hardly have sacrificed the ready alliteration, 
he substitution of ' rybe ' for ' sarde ' must have been due 
o a scribe's effort to differentiate ' sarde ' from ' sardonyse.' 
The likeness of the two words may have been more striking 
f the poet used such a form as 'sardine.' 

| ion. J?e beryl cler & quyt: the ordinary comment on 
! beryl,' Rev. xxi. 20, is that the stone was of a green colour, 
!tnd such is the general acceptance of the word. But early 

164 PEARL. 

in the Middle Ages beryl was used much in the sense of 
crystal, and in this sense is common in Middle Engli 
Hence Chaucer's 


' walles of beryle 
That shoon ful lighter than a glas.' 

('Hous of Fame/ III. 198-9.) 

Cp. Med. Latin berillus, which was applied also to crystal, 
hence M.H.G. berille, Mod. G. brille, spectacles. The 
identification of beryl and crystal must have been due to 
the special kind of beryl described by Pliny as the beryls 
' crystalline, which are white and come very near to crystals.' 
Cp. ' Cleanness,' 554, ' As ]?e beryl bornyst byhoue} be clene.' 
1012. ]?e topasye twynne-how: Vulgate topazius. Our 
author has had before him some commentary on these 
stones, hence ' twywne-how,' /. e. two-colour, used adjecti 
vally, as though 'tvvin-hued.' ' How' may be a scribal error 
for 'hew'; cp. 11. 304, 308. The reference is probably to | 
the yellow-green of the stone ; cp. Bede, ' Explan. Apoca- 
lypsis,' 'topasius . . , duos habere fertur colores ; unum 
auri purissimi.' 

1014. jacyngh[t]: MS. jacyngh ; but final ngh is not a 
possible spelling for our poet, ancj we may safely assume 
that the scribe has left out the t. Cp. O.F. jacincte ; other 
M.E. spellings are 'jacinct, jasynkt'; see N.E.D. Cp. 
bro3[t], 286. 

1015. [tryjeste: MS. gentyleste. It is certain that the 
scribe has made an error here, due to his having written 
'gent' in the previous line. The poet would not have 
repeated the epithet, nor would he have used so colourless 
a word with his obvious knowledge of the wonderful powers 
attributed to the amethyst. No stone was so efficacious in 
all difficulties, not only, as its derivation was said to imply, | 
as a preventive of intoxication, but as a 'sovereign remedy; 
against charms and sorceries that be practised, with poison-; 
ing ' (Pliny, Bk. XXXVII. ch. ix.). Some effective epithet wouldi 
have been used by our poet, and although certainty is not 


possible, I have made bold to insert ' tryeste,' i. e. surest, 
safest, alliterating with * twelfj?e,' in place of the erroneous 
plyt: see Note on 1. 1075. 

1016. purpre wyth ynde blente: see Pliny, as in previous 
note ; also cp. Trevisa, 'Earth. De P.R.,' xvi. ix. ' Amatistus 
is purpre red in colour medelyd wyth colour of uyolette.' 

1017. b[r]ent: MS. bent. The emendation is due to the 
impossibility of interpreting 'bent/ and to my conviction 
that the poet is here referring to Rev. xxi. 12, 'et habebat 
murum magnum et altum? Graphically, the poet glances 
from the steps to the great high wall, even as he makes 
Gawain, when he reaches the castle, pass from his descrip 
tion of the moat to the wall that went deep in the water, 

'Ande eft a ful huge heat hit haled vpon lofte/ 

(1. 788). 

Also cp. 'Cleanness,' 1381. For 'brent' see 1. 106, 
'Gawain,' 2165; 'brentest/ 'Cleanness/ 379. 

1018. jasporye: 'ex lapide iaspide/ Rev. xxi. 18. The 
form 'jasporye' is anomalous; it cannot be a variant of 
ijasper, 11. 999, 1026. There may be some adjectival forma- 
Ition parallel to such a word as 'diapery/ 'jasporye' standing 
therefore for 'jasper stone.' The o may well be a scribal 
error for e. But in 1026 we have '}?e wal of jasper/ 

as glas )?at glysnande schon : these words qualify 'jasporye/ 
and are due, I think, to Rev. .xxi. 11, 'tanquam lapide 
aspidis, sicut crystallum.' The ureek is altogether clearer, 
dffinSi Kpvo-Ta\\tovTi, i. e. jasper crystal-clear. There were 
various kinds of jasper, and Pliny notes that there was ' a 
[asper which seemeth as it were infected with smoke 
Bk. xxxvu. ch. ix.). 

1024. Cp. Rev. xxi. 16, 'longitude et altitudo et latitudo 
ejus aequalia sunt.' 'Ful fayre' is perhaps suggested by 
' aequalia/ and if so, means * full, evenly/ otherwise, simply 

full clear to view. 1 

1025. Rev. xxi. 21, 'platea civitatis aurum mundum, 

i66 PEARL, 

tanquam vitrum perlucidum ' ; Wycliffite versions ' strett 
A.V. 'street.' Vulgate reads 'platea, 3 but other codic 
'platen.' Cp. strate^, 1043 ; vch a strete, 1059. 

1026. glayre, z. e. the glair or white of egg, well known 
the Middle Ages in various processes, but here espech 
with reference to its brightness. At first sight it woul 
seem that the poet is crudely repeating 11. 1017-18, but this 
is not the case. In the previous passage he is emphasising 
the brightness of the jasper ; here, its transparency, pre 
paring the way for his description of the 'wone^ wyt^-iraie.' 
' Glayre ' cannot come from O.E. glser, amber, as O. suggests, 
comparing Ezek. viii. 2 and i. 27. 

1027. ]?e wone3 wyth-inne enurned: nothing is said in 
Rev. xxi., the passage which the poet is paraphrasing, con 
cerning the dwellings within, but the phraseology used by 
our poet with reference to these dwellings is derived from 
v. 19, which in the earlier Wycliffite rendering runs as 
follows: 'And the foundementes of the wal of the citee 
ourned with al precious stoon,' the various stones of the 
foundations being then mentioned. It seems to me just 
possible that the poet's transference of the words belonging 
to the foundations (already described by him) to the dwell 
ings within the wall may have been due to a reference at 
this place in his commentary or text to Isa. liv. n, 12, 
4 Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy 
foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows 
of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders 
of pleasant stones.' It was important for our poet to bring 
in a reference to 'wone^,' seeing that the whole episode of 
the revealing to him of the New Jerusalem is the answer 
to the poet's question, 

* Haf 36 no wone^ in castel-walle, 
Nemamrr?' (11. 917-18). 

For the phrase 'wone^ wyt^-ine,' compare 'Cleanness,' 
1391, * He3e houses wyt^-iwne.' 
1030. Twelue Oowsande] forlongefer: MS. twelue for- 


longe space er. The poet certainly did not depart from 
his original. I have no doubt that 'space' was a marginal 
gloss on 'sware' of the previous line, and got by scribal 
mistake into this line. The erroneous insertion of the word 
probably antedated the omission of ']?owsande,' which was 
then dropped for metrical considerations. 'Sware' must 
have puzzled some reader, for the word is used here in the 
sense of * side of a square,' referring to linear measurement. 

1031. to cayre, i.e. in the traversing (gerundial inf.), in 
the going from point to point. The word 'cayre' cannot 
well come, as O. maintains, from F. quarer 'with the vowel 
slightly modified for rime.' Seeing that the rhymes of the 
whole verse are on are and aire, the poet would not here 
have ventured on the slight modification for rhyme. 

1033-42. Rev. xxi. 12, 21. 

1035. poursent: I now hold that this is the correct read 
ing, and not ' po^rseut,' i. e. succession, the meaning being 
'precinct' or earlier 'purcint'; cp. 'Cleanness,' 1385, 'J?e 
place ]?at plyed ]?e pursauwt wyth-iraie/ the sense being 
'boundary or limit or compass,' though this meaning, so 
far as N.E.D. gives instances, seems rather later. 

In Rev. vii. 5-8, and in Ezek. xlviii. 31-34, the order of 
the names, /. e. their nativities or fortunes of birth, is not 
that of birth ; 'byrpfej-whate^' evidently refers to Gen. xlix. 
1-28, Jacob's blessing of his sons in their birth order 'all 
these are the twelve tribes of Israel.' 

1041. byr)?[e]-whate3 : i.e. birth omens ; O.E. hwaet. Morris 
and O. read ' byrj> whate^,' making ' whate^ '= ' wat},' ' was ' ; 
an absolutely impossible solution of the problem. Other 
wise, 'hwate^' must be taken as a verb (cp. O.N. hvata), 
with the sense of 'hastens, runs.' 

1043-8. strate}: cp. 'strete^,' 1025, and 'strete' (rhyming), 
1059. Cp. Rev. xxi. 23. 

1050. [s]y3t: MS. ly^t^ ; but it is hardly likely that the 
poet would have repeated the rhyming word in the same 
stanza. The obvious meaning is that ' on account of the subtle 
clearness nothing hindered sight,' i. e. he could look through 

i68 PEARL. 

the walls. O. strangely renders ' for air so subtle and cl( 
could bar no light.' 

1051-3. Cp. Rev. iv. 1055-60. Rev. xxii. i. 

1058. foysoun : at first sight this would seem to be a noui 
used anomalously as an adj. No similar instance occurs ii 
English, but Godefroy gives examples of the word as an 
adverb, and its adjectival use may be assumed. 

1060. galle o]?er glet : cp. Note on 463. 

1061-3. Rev. xxi. 22. 

1064. Rev. v. 6. 1065-6. Rev. xxi. 25. 

1065. wat* : the poet uses the past tense, though in Rev. 
xxi. 25 we nave the future. I suspect 'wat^' with plural 
subject, and am inclined to think that the scribe, having 
written * wat$ ' three times, in the previous four lines, has by 
an error repeated it instead of writing ' wern.' 

1067-8. Rev. xxi. 27. 1069-76. Rev. xxi. 23, xxii. 5. 

1070. spotty: cp. Milton, 'Paradise Lost,' I. 287-90: 

' The moon, whose orb 
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views 
At evening, from the top of Fesole, 
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands.' 

1071. Perhaps the poet wrote ' also Iper-as nis neuer ny}!,' 
z. e. ' And also where is never night, why should the moon/ 
etc. If so, there would be a stop at ' grym.' Cp. Rev. xxi. 25. 

1073. & to euen: for added 'to' in the second of two 
infinitives, cp. 'Cleanness,' 53-4, 

'}?at ]?ay samne schulde, 
& in comly quoyntis to com to his feste.' 

O. reads ' to-euen,' but the compound does not occur. 

1075. ply3t: one would expect 'plyt,' condition (O.F. 
plite) ; not 'ply^t,' O.E. pliht, peril. I am of opinion that 
the two words were used indifferently by our poet ; here 
< ply }t ' = ' plyt ' ; 'plyt,' 647, 1015 = ' ply 31 '; but 'plyt' 
correctly, 1114. 

1077-80. Rev. xxii. 2. 


1083. ba[y]l[e] : MS. baly ; see Note on 1. 442. 

1085. dased quayle : the reference is evidently to the 
'couching,' i.e. the crouching or cowering of the quail; 
cp. Chaucer, 'Clerk's Tale,' 1150: 

' Thou shalt make him couche as dooth a quaille.' 

Couch-quail, in the phrase ' to play couch-quail,' is recorded 
in the early sixteenth century, in the sense of ' to cower, to 
crouch timidly ' ; see N.E.D. 

1086. for ferly : this phrase looks like a weak repetition 
of 'so ferly,' 1. 1084. It may mean 'because of my wonder 
at,' or ' because of the marvel of J ; but in view of the previous 
line, the sense is evidently the former : cp. 11. 183-8, where 
'hende as hawk' is parallel to 'dased quayle.' I am in 
clined to hold that the poet wrote ' for-ferlyd,' i.e. utterly 

freuch : Morris ' french ' ; whatever the significance of 
the word, 'freuch' may safely be accepted, as formerly 
proposed by me. I am no longer of opinion that it is the 
Scottish frusch, frush, freuch, fragile (cp. O.F. fruisser, to 
bruise), which is synonymous with ' frough,' of obscure 
origin, with meanings suggestive of 'frail, brittle, not to 
be depended on,' and is referred back to an O.E. *froh ; so 
O. renders 'frail, uncertain, evanescent.' But it is not 
likely that such an epithet would be applied by the poet 
to the New Jerusalem. I have little doubt that we have 
here the M.E. corresponding to M.H.G. vro, O.Fris. fro, 
O.S. frao, gen. frahes, meaning 'joyous.' 

fygure: 'shape, form,' here very much as 'fasure,' 1084, 
not 'vision' as O. glosses. 

1106. Rev. xxi. 21. 

1107. Hundreth l>owsande} : perhaps suggested by the 
number of the angels in Rev. v. n. 

1 1 08. liure : MS. liure^. The collective sg. is what one 
would expect here, and not the plural, and the emendation 
is further justified by the sg. verb. The scribe has, in my 
opinion, made a similar error as regards 'wede^,' 1112, 

1 70 PEARL. 

though there he may have been influenced by metric 

mi. red g[ol]de cler : this does not occur in Rev., bi 
is evidently due to the Song of Songs v. n, 'caput eii 
aurum optimum.' It is not, as O. notes, ' apparently adde 
for embellishment by the poet.' 

1 1 12. Cp. 11. 841-4. 

1113. throne : elsewhere 'trone' ; this looks like an inten 
tional variant directly from the Lat. thronus (e.g. Rev. iv. 5), 
used here by the poet to avoid the repetition in the line 
of the same sound. O., comparing ' theme,' 1. 944 = ' teme,' 
would make 'throne' = 'trone.' 

1119-20. Rev. v. 8. 

1 12 1. legyounes of aungele} : cp. Rev. v. n ; as N.E.D. 
points out, ' legion,' in the sense of a vast host or multitude, 
with special reference to angels or spirits, is a reminiscence 
of Matt. xxvi. 53. Cp. 'Piers Plowman,' A. i., 109, ' Lucifer 
with legiouns lerede hit in heuene.' 

1 1 22. )?er kesten ensens: probably suggested by Rev. 
viii. 3. 

1126. Vertues : one of the orders of the angels (for a list 
see 'Ypotis,' 1. 90, Horstmann's ' Altenglische Legenden, 
Neue Folge,' where the ' virtues ' are seventh in order) ; cp. 
i Peter iii. 22, 'subjectis sibi angelis et potestatibus et 
virtutibus,' and Rom. viii. 38. 

1129-30. 'Delight and much marvel were in my mind;' 
not, as O. thinks that the lines mean, 'Glad desire entered 
my heart tp, describe the Lamb with many a marvel.' 

1135. wjrse : if this is from O.E. wlsian, it should mean 
'point out, show,' and may possibly be used here intransi 
tively, i.e. 'show itself, appear.' This verb, in con 
tradistinction to O.E. wissian, occurs only once in the 
poems, 'Cleanness,' 453-4, 'wysed Jwoute a message,' i.e. 
he directed thereout a messenger ; with reference to the 
raven sent by Noah. Strictly, therefore, the sense should 
be ' directed.' Could it here signify ' directed, /'. e. pointed, 
towards the heart ' ? 


1141. The Lombe delyt non lyste to wene: MS. lyste. 
'Lombe' is evidently gen. sg. without inflection. The 
sense of the line seems to be : ' to no one was there the 
desire to question the delight of the Lamb (for it was 
obvious).' ' Lyste ' is used here in rather a rare sense, 'to 
no one came the inclination.' 'Wene' is 'to think out'; 
cp. 'but wene,' without doubt, doubtless. 

1146. Cp. Rev. ii. 10, 'Be thou faithful unto death, and 
I will give thee a crown of life,' James i. 12, etc. 

1149-50. Cp. Ps. xlv. 14, 15, 'The virgins her companions 
that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness 
and rejoicing shall they be brought ; they shall enter into 
the King's palace.' 

1154. Cp. 224; also 'hys madding mynd,' Spenser, 
'Shepherd's Calendar,' April, 1. 25. 

1158. To fech me bur: 'to' in this line and elsewhere 
indicates the genmdial infinitive ; and I am strongly in 
clined to hold that my former suggestion in respect of ' to 
feche me bur' is correct, the phrase meaning 'to take the 
preliminary spurt' ; cp. E.D.D., 'to take birr,' a leap taken 
after a quick run ; Cotgrave, ' II recule pour mieux sauter, 
he goes back to take bur, or to leap the better.' Possibly 
the poet wrote 'my bur/ instead of 'me bur.' 

take me halte : this I take to be parallel in sense to the 
previous words, and interpret it to mean, ' in taking off.' 
It may have been used technically, as the modern phrase 
'to take off,' in the sense of 'to start in leaping.' 

The poet is here using two technical terms with reference 
to the initial movements before plunging, and he goes on 
to say that if no one prevented the ' bur ' and the ' take-off,' 
he would start on his swim, though he perished in the 
course. The force'of the line has hitherto, in my view, been 
altogether missed. 

1160. to swymme : again the gerundial infinitive, i.e. in 
swimming, * and nought (methought) should keep me from 
the start, though I perished there in swimming the rest,' 
i.e. though he perished before reaching the other bank. 

172 PEARL. 

O. in his translation takes ' to swymme ' as dependent 
' I ]?03t,' and renders the lines as follows : ' if no one cculc 
prevent my plunging in the stream, I hoped to swim the 
interval in safety, though I should die for it at last.' 

1165. flonc: cp. ]?ynk, 587. 

1172. hylle : see Note on 1205. 

1175. and sykyng : cp. ' Gawain,' 753, ' & ]?erfore sykyng ; ' 
' Destr. Troy,' 866, * Thus sykyng ho said'; ' and also * Gawain,' 
1796, 'Sykande ho swe^e dou#,' and 'Cleanness,' 715, 'Al 
sykande he sayde.' Evidently the verbal noun had in the 
case of this word very early taken the place of the present 
participle, and coexisted with the older pr. part, forms, as 
in the present case. So, too, in such a Southern text as 
'William of Palerne' we have 'sikande, sikende, sikinde, 
siking,' all present participles. 

1177. out-fleme: 'an outcast,' not 'banished,' as M. 
glosses; O.K. fllema, flema, a fugitive. 'Ut-flema' does 
not occur ; but we have ' ut-laga, ' an outlaw, borrowed from 
Scand. ; cp. O.N. ut-lagi. Side by side with ' ut-laga' 
there was 'ut-la^, ut-lah,' outlawed, the adj. being used as 
a sb., so that 'outlaw' frequently has the sense of 'out 
lawed.' Hence the similar usage in respect of the synonym 
'out-fleme,' as in the present passage, without 'an.' 

1 1 80. in swone : the original form of the phrase would 
appear to have been ' a-swoune,' which became ' on 
swoune,' and then 'in swoune.' 'Swone,' rhyming with 
'regioun,' etc. = 'swoune 5 ; cp. rhymes in stanza LXXXI. 

1181. to: not marking the infinitive, but adverbial, i.e. 
'towards, to'; cp. 'Cleanness/ 1551, 'He bede his burnes 
bo} to ' ; unless ' to-reme ' is a compound, the prefix im 
plying intensity. 

1 1 86. gailande gay: the reference must be to the crown, 
11. 205-8. The crown has ' flurted flowre^ ' ; but it is 
doubtful whether the flowers are necessarily implied in the 
word 'garlande' here. 'Garlande' may mean the whole 
crown or diadem ; cp. Matthew Paris (Du Cange), ' Rex 
veste deaurata, et coronula aurea, quae vulgariter garlanda 


dicitur, redimitus,' and this use of the word is not rare in 
the fourteenth century. The word ' garlande ' seems to be 
ultimately due to M.H.G. wiere, gold wire. 

It is noteworthy that the thirteenth-century alliterative 
homily, ' Hali Meidenhad,' has the following statement in 
respect of the crowns worn in heaven by maidens. Over 
and above the crowns common to all the blest, they have 
'a gerlaundesche schinende schenre Ipen ]?e sunne, Auricle 
ihatew o latines ledene ; ]?e flurs ]?t beoft idrahe ]?ron, ne 
Ipt ^imstanes ]?rin to tellen of hare euene ne is na mo/mes 
speche.' The auriole, equivalent to 'coronula,' was 'a 
celestial crown, worn by a martyr, virgin or doctor, as 
victor over the world, the flesh or the devil. 3 The aureola 
of the virgins was white, of the martyrs red, of the doctors 
green. Hence the aureole of Pearl is of clear white pearl, 
1. 207. 

1193. As helde: 'as likely as possible.' This difficult 
phrase has not hitherto been explained, but I now adduce 
the Lanes, dialect 'helt' (see E.D.D.), in the sense of 
'likely, easily.' The word is not recorded in M.E., though 
'helder* (in the sense of 'rather') is of course common. 
It is not necessary to add, as O. does, ' r' to 'helde' ; indeed 
he misunderstands the force of the words, translating, 'had 
I been rather drawn to God's presence than forced my way.' 
This line goes with the apodosis, and not with the protasis. 
' Helt ' would represent an older comparative form of the 
adverb; cp. Goth, haldis. In O.N. the adv. is 'heldr,' 
as opposed to the adj. 'heldri.' It seems likely, therefore, 
that 'held' represents a lost O.E. comparative adverb, the 
M.E. 'helder' being of Scand. origin. The syllabic e in 
'helde ' was evidently added to intensify the adverbial force 
of 'held.' The adverbial comparative would be parallel to 
such adverbial comparatives as 'leng' (= longer). 

present : cp. 389. 

1201. sete sa3te: this is. clearly the O.N. phrase 'setja 
satt'; cp. 'setja friS, griff,' to establish peace. The Scan 
dinavian origin of the phrase is strikingly attested by 

174 PEARL 

the spelling 'sete,' as opposed to the ordinary 'sette,' th< 
former representing O.N. setja, the latter O.K. settan. 
There is, I think, a neglected law of M.E. phonology th; 
words of Scandinavian origin showing a short e in the root 
followed by a single consonant with -ja suffix, have theii 
radical lengthened ; hence 'sete,' against M.E. 'sette' froi 
O.E. settan. Similarly in 11. 320, 981, we have 'keue : 
from O.N. kefja, where the rhyme shows the length. O. 
unnecessarily emends to ' sete [hym] sa3te,' deriving ' sete ' 
from O.E. settan. 

1204. Perhaps the most striking M.E. poem recalling 
Pearl, being in the same metre and with much the same 
feeling, is the fine poem 'God's Complaint,' with the refrain 
' Whi art ]?ou to ]?i freend vnkinde ' (ed. Furnivall, ' Political, 
Religious and Love Poems,' E.E.T.S. Original Series, 15). 

1205. hyul: I am now convinced that this is the reading 
of the MS., and that the scribe did not, as has been 
generally maintained, write ' hyiil ' with a dot on the first t. 
O. says, "MS. clearly 'hyiil,'" but the same stanza, in the 
case of 'Krystyin' and 'enclyin,' shows how the scribe, 
when he wished to mark an z, used a stroke resembling an 
acute accent, while the small dot was often used over a y, 
and it is this dot which is used in the present word, though 
written rather over the first stroke of the it than they. For 
'hyul,' cp. 'huyle,' 41, and see Note. 

121 1. gef: the more ordinary form of the pres. subj. 
would be 'geue' ; but 'gef is probably correct ; cp. ')?ryf,' 
851. Anyhow, it is not a probable error for ' gyue, J as 
O. states, although that form occurs in 1. 707. 

homly hyne : ' homly ' = ' intimate, friendly.' The word 
does not occur in O.E. ; the M.E. 'homly' was probably 
influenced by Scand. ' heimuligr,' as used in such phrases 
as 'hans heimuligt folk/ 'his household folk'; ' heimuligr 
clerkr, 5 'a private clerk.' In Scottish the word is still 
common in this sense. For 'hyne/ see Note on 505. 

12 12. The last line of the poem catches up, as it were, 
the first, and indeed emphasises its deeper suggestion. 


a, indef. art. a, 19, 23, 34, 

etc.; one, 786 (cp. 869), 

1037; vch a, see vch ; cp. 

an, on (i). 
abate, see abyde. 
abated, pt. 3 pi. 123. OF. 


able, adj. 599. OF. able. 
abof, adv. above, 1023; 

prep. 1017. OE. a-bufan. 
aboute, prep, round about, 

75, 1077; abowte, 149; 

concerning, 268 ; near, 

513 ; adv. near, 932. OE. 

abroched, pp. set abroach, 

1123; (lit. let forth as 

liquor from a pierced 

cask). OF. abrochier; 

broche, a spit. 
abyde, inf. endure, 348; 

pt. 3 s. abate, 617; pp. 

abiden, 1090. OE. abi- 

dan; cp. byde. 
acheue, inf. achieve, 475. 

OF. achever. 
acorde, agreement, 371, 

509. OF. acord. 
acorded, pt. 3 pi. agreed 

with, 819. OF. acorder. 

acroche, inf. gain, lit. draw 
to itself as with a crook, 
1069. OF. acrocher; cp. 

Adam, 656. 

adaunt, inf. subdue, 157. 
OF. adanter. 

adoun, adv. down, 988. 
OE. of dune ; cp. doim (i). 

adubbement, adornment, 
splendour, glory, 84, 96, 
108, 120; adub[be]mente, 
72 ; adubbemente, 85 ; cp. 
dubbed, dubbement. 

adyte, imp. s. indict, 349; 
prob. OE. adihtan, in 
fluenced in form and 
meaning by ME. endite, 
later indict; AF. enditer; 
late L.* indictare. 

affray, fright, terror, lit. 
the sudden losing of one's 
peace, 1174. OF. effreer; 
late L. ex-fridare, a 
Latinising from Teut. 
friSu, peace. 

after, prep, along, 125; 
according to, 998; adv. 
afterwards, 256. OE. 

i 7 6 


agayn, prep, against, 28, 
1199, 1200; agayn3, 79; 
adv. again, 326. OE. 

age, n. 412. OF. aage. 

agly3te, pt. 2 s. didst glance 
off, slip away, go agley, 
245. Cp. ON. glia, to 
shine; cp. gly^t. 

a-grete, 'in the great,' by 
the job, 560; cp. OF. en 
gros ; cp. gret. 

a3t, see 036. 

a3tye, eighth, ion. OE. 

al, adj. all, 16, 86, 285, 424, 
etc. ; everything, 360 ; 
everybody, 1124; of al & 
sum, in full, entirely, 584 ; 
alle, 73, 119, 292, 372, 
384, etc. ; everybody, 
404, 447; adv. wholly, 
fully, 97, 197, 204, 210, 
258, 280, 364, 540, etc.; 
al samen, all together, 
518. OE. call. 

a-las, alas ! 1138; alias, 9. 
OF. a las. 

alder, aides t, see olde. 

alder-men, elders, 887, 1119. 
OE. ealdormann. 

alegge, imp. s. lay aside, 
give up, 703. OE. alec- 
gan ; ( not OF. esligier, 
' allege,' which gives the 
contrary meaning). 

al-my3t, almighty, 498 ; 
OE. aelmiht. 

al-my3ty, 1063. OE. ael- 

al-one, solely, 933 ; OE. eal 

alow, inf. reckon, take into 

count, place to credit, 

634. OF. alouer. 
aloynte, pp. removed, far 

off, 893. AF. aloyner, 

& loin. 
also, adv. 685, 872; al-so, 

1071 ; als,765. OE.eal swa. 
al-J>a3, conj. although, 759, 

857, 878. OE. al Seah. 
alyue, adj. living, 445, OE. 

on life. 

am, see be (i). 
amatyst, amethyst, 1016. 

OF. amatiste. 
Amen, 1212. 
among, prep. 470, 848, 1145, 

1150; adv. amon[c], in 

the meanwhile, 905. OE. 

onmang, on gemang. 
an, indef. art. 640; cp. a, 

on (i), vchon. 
and (&), and, 16, 18, 27, 

etc.; if, 560, 598, etc.; 

(?)asif, io73;ande, 1212. 
an-ende, prep, in respect of, 

concerning, 697 ; over 

against, 1136; an-ende^, 

on a level with, in a line 

with, 975; on-ende, as 

regards, 1 86. OE. onefn. 
angel-hauyng, angelic de 
meanour, 754; cp. aun- 

gele3, hafyng. 
anger, anguish, passionate 

grief, 343; ON. angr, 

trouble, affection. 
ani, see any. 



anioynt, pp. enjoined, 

appointed, 895. OF. 

anon, adv. forthwith, 584, 

629. OE. on an. 
ano]>er, adj. a second, 297. 
answar, n. 518; OE. and 

swaru ; cp. on-sware, inf. 
an-vnder, prep, at the foot 

of, 1 66; under, 1081, 1092 

noo; an-vnde[r], 1068; 

on-vunder, 775 ; & vnder 


any, adj. 345, 4 6 3 617, 8o0 * 
1068; ani, 1139. OE. 

apassed, pp. passed, 540. 
OF. apasser; cp. passe. 

apere, inf. appear, 405. 
OF. aparoir (stem aper-) . 

apert, adv. plainly, 589. 
OF. apert. 

Apocalyppce, the Apo 
calypse, 944, 1008; Apo- 
calyppe?, 787. 996, 1020; 
Apokalypce, 983 ; Apo- 
kalype?, 834; Appocalyp- 
pece, 866. 

apostel, n. 790, 836, 944, 

984, 985, 996, I008, 1020, 

1032 ; appostel, 1053. 
OE. apostol. 

apparaylmente, n. array, 
1052. OF. apareillement. 

j apple, n. 640. OE. aeppel. 

| appose, pr. i s. interrogate, 
pose with question, 902 ; 
cp. Apposition, still used 
at St. Paul's School, origi 
nally the public examina- 


tion day. OF. aposer, 
apposer, by the side of, 
oposer, opposer. 

appostel, see apostel. 

aproche, inf. approach, 686 ; 
pt. 3 s. aproched, 1119. 
OF. aprochier. 

aquyle, inf. receive, wel 
come, 690; pp. aquylde, 
967. OF. aquillir, 
acuillir, accueillir ; late 
L. accolligere. 

ar, am, art, see be (i). 

araye,position, arrangement, 
5 ; array, 191 ; aray, 491. 
OF. arei. 

arayed, pp. prepared, 719, 
791 ; arayde, conditioned, 
1 1 66. OF. areier. 

are-]>ede, people of yore, 
711. ON. ar; cp. J>ede. 

arme, n. arm, 459, 466. 
OE. earm. 

aros, pt. 3 5. arose, 181. OE. 
arisan; cp. ryse. 

Arraby, Arabia, 430. 

ary3t, adv. straight on, 112. 
OE. on riht. 

Arystotel, Aristotle, 751. 

aryue, inf. arrive, 447. 
OF. ariver. 

as, adv. 20, 76, 822, 1024, 
etc.; conj. 787, 801, 915, 
923, 980, etc.; j>er as, 
whe/e, 129, 818, 1173; 
as quo, as if one, 693; 
uses idiomatically with 
adjectives, 836, 1193. OE. 
al swa; cp. bare, helde, 
as tyt, J>er. 

I 7 8 


asent, harmony, 94 ; asente, 

concurrence, 391. OF. 

aske, inf. ask, 316, 580, 

910; ask[e], 564. OE. 

assemble, union, 760. OF. 

asspye, inf. espy, 1035; pt. 

i s. asspyed, 979; pp- 

descried, 704. OF. espier. 
astate, estate, 393; asstate, 

state, rank, 490. OF. 

a[s]tount, pp. astounded, 

179. OF. estoner. 
astraye, adv. out of the 

right way, 1162. OF. 

estraie; cp. stray, 
as tyt, as quickly as pos 
sible, 645; cp. tyt, as. 
asyse, manner, 97. OF. 

at (i), prep. 161, 198, 218, 

321, 529, 547, 635, 647, 

839, 862, 1066, 1115; 

beside, 287 ; according 

to, 199, 1164; in the 

condition of, 672. OE. 

aet ; c^.ene, on (i), steuen. 
at (2), pron. rel. which, 

536. ON. at. 
at-slyk63, pr. 3 s. slips away, 

575. OE. *slican (not 

found), with pref. at. 
atteny, pr. 2 s. subj. come 

up to, reach, 548. OF. 

Augoste, August, 39. L. 


aungele3, angels, 1121. OF. 

angele; cp. angel-hauyng, 
aunte, aunt, 233. OF. ante. 
auenture, adventurous 

quest, 64. OF. aventure. 
avysyoun, vision, 1184. 

OF. avision. 
away, adv. away, 655, 823; 

from the right way, 

amiss, 488; awaye, 258. 

OE. onweg; cp. way (2). 
awayed, PP- instructed, 

taught, 710. OF. avier; 

late L. * adviare, to put 

on the way. 
[a] we, see 036. 
awhyle, adv. awhile, 692; 

cp. whyle. 
ay, adv. ever, 33, 44, 56, 366, 

1189, etc.; a[y], 144; aye, 

1198. ON. ei. 
ay|>er, each of the two, 831. 


bale, harm, grief, 18, 373, 

478, 651, 1139; pi- bale?, 

123, 807. OE. balu. 
balke, mound, ridge, 62. 

OE. balca. 
bantele?, risings, steps, 992 ; 

bantels, 1017; prob. OF. 

bandel, a rising, in archi 

tecture : hence, step. 
baptem, baptism, 653 ; bab- 

tem, 627. OF. bapteme. 
baptysed, pt. 3 s. baptised, 

8 1 8. OF. baptiser. 
bare, clear, 1025 ; ' as b.', 

as clear as possible, 836. 

OE. baer. 



barne, child, 426; pi. 
barne3, 712 Israel bar- 
ne3, 1040. OE. beam. 

basse, n. base, 1000. OF. 

basyng, n. base, 992. 

ba[y]l[e], ' bail/ ' bai 
ley/ the external wall of 
a feudal castle, 1083; 
bayly, the domain en 
closed, 315; (cp. Med. 
Lat. ballium; OF. bail, 

bayly, jurisdiction, 442. 
OF. baillie. 

bayn, willing, 807. ON. 

baysment, discomfiture from 
surprise, 174; (aphetic 
form of abaysment. OF. 
abaissement) . 

be (i), inf. 29, 281, etc.; 
pr. i s. am, 246, 335, etc. ; 
2 s. art, 242, 276, etc. ; 
arte, 707 ; 3 s. is, 26, 
33, etc.; nis ( = ne is), 
100; nys, 951; pi. am, 
384, 402, 517, 927, etc.; 
ar, 923 ; bene, 785 ; ben, 
572 ; 3 s. (= future) bet}, 
611; pr. subj. be, 379, 
470, 572, 694, etc.; imp. 
s. 344, 406; pi. s. wat3, 
45, 372, 1088, etc. ; wace, 
65; wasse, 1108, 1112; 
wore, 232; pi. wern, 
71, 251, etc.; wer, 68, 
641; were, 1107; ware, 
151, 1027; wore, 154; 
( ?) wat}, 1065 ; pt. s. subj. 

wer, 972, 1092 ; were, 264, 
1167, etc.; wore, 142; pi. 
wern, 451; wore, 574; 
pp. ben, 252, 373. OE. 

be (2), prep, see by. 

beau, beauteous, 197. OF. 

beaute, beauty, 749; bew- 
te, 765. OF. beaute. 

bede, see bydde?. 

bele, inf. burn, 18. ON. 

bem, beam, rood, 814. OE. 

beme?, see sunne-beme3. 

ben, bene, se<? be (i). 

bene, gracious, bright, no, 
198. (?) etym. 

bent, pp. bound, 664 ; bente, 
bowed, 1189. OE. ben- 

bere, inf. bear, carry, 807, 
1078; pr. 35. bere;, 100, 
746, 756, 1068; pi. beren, 
854, 856, 1079; pr. 2 s. 
subj. ber, 466 ; pt. i s. bere, 
67; 35. ber, 426; pp. 
bore, 239; borne, 626. 
OE. beran. 

bereste, see breste. 

beryl, beryl, ion; 'cry 
stal/ no. OF. beryl. 

beste, see god. 

beste3, beasts, 886. OF. 

bete (i), inf. make good, 
amend, 757. OE. betan. 

bete (2), pt. 3 pi. beat, 93- 
OE. beatan. 



better, see wel. 
bewte, see beaut6. 
beyng, being, nature, 446. 
bi-talt, pp. shaken, 1161. 

OE.-tealtian, to shake. 
pp. bleached, 212. 

OE. blcan, blsecean, pp. 

blake, black, 945. OE. 

blame (i), n. rebuke, 715. 

OF. blame. 

blame (2), inf. 303 ; pr. 2 s. 
F. bla- 

a, 275. O 

blayke, pale, 27. ON. 

ble, colour, 76; hue, com 

plexion, 212. OE. bleo. 
bleaunt, garment, or the 

stuff of which it is made, 

163. OF. bliaut. 
blent, pp. blended, mingled, 

385; blente, 1016. ON. 

blanda (pr. sg. blend-). 
blesse, pr. 35. subj., 850; 

inf. to cross oneself, 341 ; 

pp. blessed, blessed, 436. 

OE. bletsian. 
blessyng, n. 1208. 
bio, dark, livid, 83, 875. 

ON. blar. 
blod, blood, 646, 650, etc.; 

blode, 74- OE. blod. 
blody, bloodily, 705. OE. 

blom, bloom, blossom, 

flower, 578; pi. blome3, 

27. OE. blom. 
blot, stain, 782; cp. OF. 

bloustre, blotte, a clot 

of earth. 
blunt, stunned, 176; cp. 

ON. blunda, to doze. 
blusched, pt. is. looked, 980, 

1083; (cp. OE. ablisian, 

to blush; blysa, torch; 

(?) OE. blyscan), cp. 

blwe, blue, 27, 76, 423. 

OF. bleu. 
blynde, dark, dim, 83. OE. 

Wynne, inf. cease, 729. 

OE. blinnan. 
blys, bliss, 123, 126, etc.; 

blysse, 372, 373. etc.; 

blys[se], 286. OE. blips, 

ace. bliSse. 
blysfnl, 421, 907, etc.; blys- 

fol, 279. 
blysned, pt. 3 s. gleamed, 

1048; pr. p. blysnande, 

163, 197. OE.* blysnian, 

(not found}. 
bly>e (i), adj. joyous, gentle, 

352, 738; sup. bly>est, 

1131. OE. blHfe; cp. 

n. blyj>e. 
bly^e (2), n. joy, goodwill, 

grace, 354. ON. blffia. 
bly>ely, joyously, 385. 
bod, see byde. 
body, n. 62, 460, 1070. OE. 

bodyly, adj. bodily, 478; 

adv., with the body, 

boftete}, pi. buffets, 809. 

OF. bufet. 



b036, inf. take one's way, 

196; imp. s., bow, 974; 

pt. i s. bowed, 126. OE. 

bo^t, see bye. 
bok, book, 710; boke, 837. 

OE. bsc. 
bolde, audacious, 806. OE. 

boiler, boles, trunks, 76. 

ON. bolr. 
bolne, inf. swell, 18. ON. 

bolgna; Dan. bolne. 
bon, bone, 212. OE. ban. 
bone, high ground, slope, 

bank of a stream, 907, 

1169; bonk, 102; bonke, 

196; pi. bonke;, no, 

138, 93 1 ; b[o]nkes, 

1 06; cp. ON. bakki (= 

bone, petition, prayer, 912, 

916; boon, favour, 1090. 

ON. bon. 
bonertS, goodness, 762. OF. 


bonke, bonke}, see bone, 
bor, dwelling, 964. OE. 

borde, pr. 2 pi. jest, 290. 

OF. bourder. 
bOF3, burgh, city, 957, 989, 

1048; burghe, 980. OE. 

borne}, gen. s. river's, 974. 

OE. burna. 
bornyst, pp. burnished, 77; 

bornyste, 220 ; burnist, 

990. OF. burnir, pr. p. 


bon>3t, see bryng. 

bostwys, rough, rude, 814; 

bustwys, savage, wild, 

911 ; see Note, 1. 911. 
bot, adv. but, only, 17, 18, 

83, 269, 382, 551. 592, 

905 ; COM/, co-ord. 66, 91, 

265, etc. ; subord. unless, 

308, 428, 723, 972 ; prep. 

except, 331, 336, 337, 

496, 842, 892, 952, 955; 

after negative, 658; O.E. 

bote, remedy, 275, 645. 

OE. bot. 
boj?e (i), pron. both, 950; 

cp. ON. baSir, Sw. ba- 

da, Dan. baade. 
bo>e (2), conj. both, with 

and, 90, 329, 682, 731, 

1056, 1203 ; without 

and, 373 ; cp. ON. 

baftir, Sw. bada, Dan. 

boun, ready, 534; fixed, 

992, 1103. ON. biiinn. 
bounden, pp. bound, edged, 

198; fastened, 1103. 

OE. bindan. 
bourne, see burne. 
bow, bowed, see boae. 
boye3, churls, 806; not 

in OE., cp. EFris. 

bos, impers. pr. behoves, 

323 ; pt. by-hod, 928. OE. 

brade, see brpde. 
brat[h] e, violence, 1170; 

pl. bra>63, violent emo- 



tions, 346. ON. braS(r), 

adj. with-]>e, suff. 
braundysch, pr. 2 s. subj. 

toss about, 346. OF. 

brandir, pr. p. brandis- 

bray, pr. 2 s. subj. utter 

harshly, 346. OF. braire. 
brayde, pt. 3 5. roused sud 
denly, 1170; 3 pi. 

brought, 712. OE. breg- 

dan, braegd. 
brayne;, brains, 126. OE. 

bred, bread, 1209. OE. 

brede (i), n. breadth, 1031. 

OE. braedu. 
brede (2), n/.extend, stretch, 

814; grow, flourish, 415. 

OE. braedan. 
bred-Sul, brimful, 126; cp. 

Sw. braddfull; OE. 

bref, brief, 268. OF. 

breme, spirited, bold, 346; 

valiant, glorious, 863. 

OE. breme. 

brende, pp. burnt, bur 
nished, ' red,' applied 

to gold (cp. brantail), 989. 

ON. brenna; cp. OE. 

bernan; cp. for-brent. 
brent, adj. steep, 106; 

b[r3ent, 1017. OE. brant; 

Sw. brant ; ON. brattr. 
breste, n. breast, 18, 222, 

740, 1103, 1139; bereste, 

854. OE. breost. 

breue, imp. s. tell, 755. 
ON. brefa. 

brode, broad, 650, 1022, 
1024; brade, 138. OE. 

bro3te, bro3[t], see bryng. 

broke, n. brook, 141, 146; 
brok, 981; gen. s. bro 
ke?, 1074. OE. broc. 

broun, brown, dark, 537; 
the colour of burnished 
metal, 990. OE. briin. 

brunt, n. smart blow, 174. 
cp. ON. bruna, to ad 
vance at fire-speed. 

bryd, bride, 769. OE. bryd. 

brydde?, birds, 93. OE. 

bry3t, adj. bright, 75, no, 
989 ; used as n., 755 ; 
comp. bry3ter, 1056; adv. 
bry3t, 769, 1048. OE. 

brym, brink, 1074; brym- 
me, 232. OE. brymme. 

bryng, inf. bring, 853; 
imp. s. 963 ; pt. 3 s. 
bro3te, 527; pp- bro3[t], 
286; boro3t, 628. OE. 

bur, n. impetus, 1158; burre, 
blow, 176. ON. byrr. 

burde, impers. pt. it was 
meet, 316. OE. (ge)- 

burghe, see bor?. 

burne, man, 397, 1090; 
bourne, 617; pi. burne 3, 
712. OE. beorn. 

burnist, see bornyst. 



burre, see bur. 
bustwys, see bost-wys. 
busye?, pr. 2 s. troubles!, 

268. OE. bisgian. 
by, prep. 107, 140, 141, 

etc.; [by], 672; be, 523- 

OE. bl. 
by-calle, pr. i 5. call upon, 

913; pp. by-calt, called, 

1163; cp. calle. 
by-cawse, conj. 296. 
by-corn, pt. 3 s. became, 

537 : cp. com. 
bydde3, pr. 3 s. bids, 520; 

pt. 3 pl. bede, 715. OE. 

byde, inf. remain, 399, 977 ; 

endure, 664 ; pr. 2 s. 

byde}, 907; 3 />' 75; 

pt. 35. bod, 62. OE. 

bidan ; cp. abyde. 
by-dene, straightway, 196. 

(?) OE. bi den(e). pp. of 

don (Skeat). 
bye, inf. buy, 732; byye, 

478; pt. 3 5. b03t, 651; 

PP- 733; redeemed, 893. 

OE. bycgan. 
byfalle, inf. happen, 186. 

OE. befeallan ; cp. fel. 
byfore, adv. formerly, 172; 

in front, mo; conj. 

530; prep. 598, 885; 

by-fore, 294; bifore, 49. 

OE. beforan. 
byg, big, 102; comp. 

bygger, 374- cp. Nor. 

bugge, a strong man. 
bygly, inhabitable, pleasant, 

963 ; cp. bygyng. 

by-gonne, see bygynne. 
bygyng, n. dwelling, 932. 

ON. v. byggja; cp. bygly. 
bygynne, inf. begin, 581; 

pr. 2 s. bygynne3, 561 ; 

imp. s. bygyn, 547 ; pt. 

3 pi- by-gonne, 549 ; pp> 

33. OE. biginnan. 
bygynner, beginner, 436. 
by3C, ring, bracelet, 466, 

OE. beah. 
by3onde, prep, beyond, 141, 

146, 158, 287, 981, 1156. 

OE. begeondan. 
by-hod, see 003. 
byholde, inf. behold, 810. 

OE. bihaldan ; cp. halde. 
bylde (i), n. building, 727, 

963; cp. OE. byldan. 
bylde (2), pt. 3 pl. encour 
aged, stirred up, 123. 

OE. bieldan. 
byrKe], birth, 1041. ON. 

byr5; see whate?. 
bysech, inf. beseech, 390; 

cp. sech. 
byseme, v. impers. inf. 

befit, 310; cp. semed. 
by-swyke^, pr. i s. defraud, 

568. OE. beswican. 
by-ta3te, pt. i s. committed, 

1207. OE. betsecan; cp. 

byte, inf. bite, 640; seize 

upon, 355. OE. bltan. 
by-twene, adv. around, 44; 

prep, between, 140, 658. 

OE. bitweonum. 
by-twyste, prep, betwixt, 

464. OE. betweox. 



bytyde, inf. befal, 397. OE. 

tldan, with pref. be. 
byye, see bye. 

caggen, pr. 3 pi. fasten, 

bind, 512; (origin doubt 
ful; ? cp. catch). 
ca3t, pt. 3 s. seized, 50; 

ca3te, 237. O. North F. 

cachier ; ME. cacchen, 

ca3t, on analogy with 

la^t, fr. lacchen. 
calder, see colde. 
calle, inf. 173, 182, 721; 

pr. i pi. 430; pt. 3 s. 

called, 542; calde, 762; 

pp. called, 273; calle[d], 

572. ON. kalla; cp. by- 

calsydoyne, chalcedony, 

1003. OF. calcidoine. 
cambe, n. comb, 775. OE. 


can, see con (i). 
care, n. 50, 371, 86 1 ; pi. 

care?, 808. OE. caru. 
carpe, inf. speak, 949; 

carp[e], 381; pt. 3 * 

carpe[d], 752. ON. karpa. 
Carpe, n. discourse, 883. 

ON. karpa, vb. 
cas, case, 673. OF. cas. 
Caste, intention, 1163; cp. 

ON. v. kasta, to throw, 

castel - walle, 917- OF- 

castel ; cp. wal. 
cause}, pi. 702. OF. cause. 
cayre, ger. inf. proceed, 

1031. ON. keyra. 

cete, see cyte. 

ceuer, inf. attain, 319. 

OF. cuvrer, cuevr-. 
chace, inf. 443. OF. 

chacier; cp. enchace. 
chambre, 904. OF. chambre. 
chapel, 1062. OF. chapel. 
charde, pt. 3 pi. turned, 

608. OE. cerran. 
chary te, 470. OF. charite. 
chayere, chair, throne, 885. 

OF. chaiere. 
chere, cheer, mien, 407, 

887, 1109. OF. chiere, 


ches, chese, see chos. 
cheuentayn, chieftain, 605. 

OF. chevetaine. 
Chos, pt. i 5. chose, 187; 

3. ches, 759; chese, 954; 

pp. ichose, 904. OE. 

chyche, niggard, 605. OF. 

chyde, inf. chide, blame, 

403. OE. cidan. 
chylde, 723; pi- chylder, 

714, 718. OE. cild, cildru. 
cite, see cyte. 
clad, 22. OE. claSod. 
clambe, see clym. 
clanly, adv., nobly, chastely, 

2. OE. claenlice ; cp. clene. 
clem, inf. claim, 826. OF. 

clene, pure, 227, 289, 682, 

737, 969, 972 ; adv. per 
fectly, 754, 767; cor 
rectly, 949. OE. clsene; 

cp. clanly. 



Clente, pp. clenched, 

riveted, 259. OE. *clen- 

can (not found) ; cp. MHG. 

Cler, adj. clear, pure, bright, 

74, 207, 227, ion, mi ; 

clere, 2, 620, 737; adv. 

cler, 274, 882, 913; n. 

clearness, 1050. OF. 


clerke?, 1091. OF. clerc. 
cleuen, see clyuen. 
clos, adj. enclosed, set, 2 ; 

closed, shut, 183; secure, 

(?) shut in, 512. OF. clos, 

pp. o/clore; cp. enclose. 
Close, inf. 271 ; pt. 3 s. 

closed, 803. OF. clos, pp. 

o/clore; cp. clos. 
Clot, clay, 22, 320; ground, 

789 ; /. clotte3, 857. OE. 

clott, clot. 
cloystor, 969. Cp. Low 

L. claustura. 
clyffe, cliff, 159; pi. klyfe?, 

66; klyff63, 74- OE. 

clym, inf. climb, 1072 ; 

klymbe, 678; pt. 2 s. 

Clambe, 773. OE. clim- 
clynge, pr. 3 pi. shrink, 857. 

OE. clingan. 
clypper, shearer, 802; cp. 

ON. v. klippa. 
Clyuen, inf.. remain, 1196; 

pr. 3 pi. cleuen, rise, 66. 

OE. clifian, cleofian. 
cnawyng, knowledge, 859; 

cp. knaw. 

cnoken, pr. 3 pi. knock, 

727. OE. cnucian, (ge)- 

cnocian; cp. ON. knoka. 

cofer, coffer, 259. OF. 

colde, adj. 50, 808; comp. 

calder, 320. OE. cald. 
colour, beauty, 215, 753; 

color, 22. OF. colour. 
com, inf. come, 676; 
comfe], 701; 3 s. coni 
ng, 848; imp. s. cum, 
763 ; pt. i s. come, 
582 ; com, 615; 3 s. 
155, 230, 262, 645, 749; 
pi. 574; pt. 2 s. subj. 
598; 3 s. 723, 724. 
OE. cuman; cp. by- 
come, n. coming, 1117. 

OE. cyme. 

comfort, n. 55; comforte, 
357 ; coumforde, 369. 
OF. con-, cunfort. 
comly, fair, 775; cumly, 
929; adv. comly, 259. 
OE. cymlic. 
commune, adj. common, 

739. OF. comun. 
compas, circuit, 1072. OF. 

compayny, 851. OF. com- 


con (i), can, does; pr. i s. 
931; 2s. 769135. 294,495, 
665, etc.; can, 499; 
2 pi. con, 381, 914 ; conne, 
521 ; 3 pi. con, 509, 1078 ; 
pt. i s. cow>e, 134; 2 s. 
cow>63, 4 8 4; 3 s. 

1 86 


95 ; 3 pi. 855. OE. cun- 
nan, cann, cufte. 

con (2) did, i s. 81, 147, 
149, etc.; 2 s. 313, 777, 
1183; cone?, 482, 909, 
925; 3 s. in, 171, 173, 
etc.; 3 pi. 78, 551; orig. 
for gan (pt. of ginnan), 
used for auxiliary ' did', 
attracted to, and confused 
with, can, con (cunnan, 
' to be able ') , and ac 
cordingly used as pres 
ent and past auxiliaries 
in sense of 'do' and 
' did/ 

conciens, consciousness, 
1089. OF. conscience. 

conne, see con (i). 

contryssyoun, contrition, 
669. OF. contriciun. 

coppe, see hyl-coppe. 

corne, 40. OE. corn. 

coroun, 237, 255 ; coroune, 
crown, 205 ; croune, 
427; croun, noo; pi. 
coroune3, 451. OF. co- 

eorouncle, pt. 3 s. crowned, 
415; pp. 480; coronde, 
767,1101. OF. coroner. 

corse, body, 320; pi. corses, 
857. OF. cors. 

cortayse, courteous, 433 ; 
corte?, 754. OF. cor- 
teis; cp. vn-cort[a]yse. 

cortaysly, courteously, 381. 

cortaysye, courtesy, 432, 
444,456, 4 68;cortays[y]e, 
469, 480, 481; cour- 

taysye, 457. OF. cor- 


corte, see court, 
cortel, kirtle, 203. OE. 


corte?, see cortayse. 
coruen, see keruen. 
coumforde, see comfort. 
counsayl[e], course, state 

of being, 319. AF. cun- 

counterfete, inf. resemble, 

556. OF. contrefait, pp. 

of contrefaire. 
countes, countess, 489. OF. 

countre, 297. OF. coun- 

court, 445; corte, 701. OF. 

cort, curt. 

courtaysye, see cortaysye. 
cou^e, cowj^e, see con (i). 
couenaunt, 562 ; couen- 

aunde, 563. OF. cove 
crafte?, powers, 356, 890. 

OE. craeft. 
craue, inf. crave, 663. OE. 

Crede, the Creed, 485. L. 

cresse, cress, 343. OE. 

creste, crown, 856. OF. 

croke}, pi. reaping-hooks, 

sickles, 40. ON. krokr. 
croun, croune, sec coroun. 
[cjryed, pp. cried, 702. OF. 




crysolyt, chrysolite, 1009. 

G. xpv ff 6\i6os, the gold- 

coloured stone. 
crysopase, chrysoprase, a 

golden green stone, 1013. 

gold, Trpdcrov, leek; L. 

chrysoprassus, chryso- 

passus ; OF. cryso- 

prasse, crisopase. 
crystal, 74, 159. OF. 


Crystes, see Kryst. 
cum, see com. 
cumly, see comly. 
cure, n. care, charge, 1091. 

OF. cure. 
cyte, city, 792, 939, 1023; 

cete, 927, 95 2 ; cite, 1097 ; 

cyty, 986. OF. cite". 

dale?, 121. OE. dael. 
dam, n. stream, 324 ; cp. 

OFris. dam ; ON. 

dammr; OE. -demman. 
dampned, pp. condemned, 

641. OF. dampner. 
damysel, 489 ; damyselle, 

361. OF. dameisele, 

dar, pr. i s. dare, 1089; 

pt. i s. dorst, 143; dorste, 

182. OE. dear, dorste. 
dare, inf. lie low, fear, 

8 39; pt. 3 s- dard, 609; 

cp. LG. (be)daren; Sw. 

dasa, to lie idle ; E. daze. 
dased, pp. dazed, 1085. 

ON. dasa(sk), to daze 


date, end, goal, 492, 493, 
516,528, 540,541; [date], 
529 ; appointed season, 
504, 505 ; fixed time 
(?) = dawn, 517 ; pi. dates, 
dates, 1040. OF. date. 

daunce, pr. 2 s. subj., 345. 
OF. dancer. 

daunger, subjection, de 
pression, 250. OF. dan 
ger ; LL. *domniarium ; 
cp. luf-daungere. 

Dauid, 698, 920. 

day, 486, 510, 516, etc.; 
daye, 5*7> 54 1 . J 2io; 
gen. s. daye?, 533. 
554; pi. 416; dawe?, 
282. OE. daeg, dagas. 

day-glem, day-gleam, sun 
light, 1094 ; cp. glem. 

dayly, inf. hazard, dally 
(with words), 313. AF. 
dalier; OF. dallier; cp. 
prov. G. dahlen, to trifle. 

debate, discussion, dispute, 
390. OF. debat. 

debonere, 162. OF. de- 

de-bonerte", gentleness, 798. 
OF. debonairete. 

declyne, inf. droop, 333 
de-clyne, bend, yield, con 
sent, 509. OF. decliner. 

dede (i), adj. dead, 31. 
OE. dead. 

dede (2), n. deed, 481, 524. 
OE. dsed. 

de-gres, pi. steps, 1022. 
OF. degre. 

del, dele, see doel. 



dele, pr. 3 s. subj. deal, 
606. OE. daelan. 

delf ully, grievously, 706 ; 
cp. doel. 

delyt, n. delight, 642, 1104, 
1105, 1116, etc.; delit, 
1129. OF. delit. 

delyuered, pt. 3 s. delivered, 
652. OF. delivrer. 

deme, inf. deem, judge, de 
clare, 336, 348, 360, 
1183; dem[e], 312; pr. 
2 s. dome?, 325, 337J 
imp. s. deme, 313. 349; 
pr. 3 s. subj. deme, 324; 
pt. i s. demed, 361. 
OE. deman; cp. dom. 

demme, inf. be dammed, 
checked, 223. OE. (for-) 
demman ; cp. dam. 

dene, valley, 295. OE. 

denned, pt. 3 s. resounded, 
51. OE. dynian; cp. 

dep, see depe (2). 

departed, pt. i pi. separated, 
378. OF. departir. 

depaynt, pp. depicted, ar 
rayed, 1 102. OF. de- 
peint; cp. paynted. 

depe (i), n. pi. depths, 
waters, 109. OE. deop. 

depe (2), adj. deep, 143, 
intense, 215 ; adv. dep, 
406. OE. deop, deope. 

depres, inf. vanquish, 778. 
OF. depresser. 

depryue, inf. 449. OF. de- 

dere (i), adj. beloved, pre 
cious, wonderful, 72, 85, 

97, etc. ; adv. 733. OE. 

dere (2), inf. harm, 1157. 

OE. derian. 

derely, wondrously, 995. 
dere^, pi. hindrances, 102. 

OE. n. daru, v. derian; 

cp. dere (2). 
derk, dark, darkness, 629. 

OE. deorc. 
der>e, beauty, 99. OE. 

deore =dere-j- -\>suff.; cp. 

ON. dyrS-.cp. dere(i); 
derworth, wonderful, 109. 

OE. deorwurSe. 
dese, dais, 766. OF. deis. 
desserte, n. desert, 595. OF. 

dessypele?, disciples, 715. 

OF. disciple. 
destyn6, destined beloved 

one, 758. OF. destinee. 
determynable, determined, 

fixed, 594. OF. deter- 

deth, death, 323, 630, 652, 

656; dethe, 860. OE. 

deuely, deaf-like, dull, OE. 

*deaflic ; ON. daufligr. 
deuise, inf. picture. 1129; 

pr. 3 s. deuyse3, 984, 995 ; 

pt. 3 s. deuysed, 1021. 

OF. deviser. 
deuote, devout, 406. OF. 

deuoyde, inf. drive away, 

15. OF. desvoidier. 



deuyse, device," 139; at my 
deuyse, in my opinion, 
199. OF. devise. 

deuysed, deuyse?, see deuise. 

deuysement, portrayal, 
1019. OF. devisement. 

dewyne, pr. i s. pine, 1 1 ; 
dowyne, 326. O dwi- 

do, doe, 345. OE. da. 

do, do, 338, 496, etc.; 
cause, 1 02, 306, etc. ; 
put, 366, 1042; do way, 
cease, 718; inf. 424, 496, 
etc.; done, 914 ; pr. 1 5. do, 
366 ; 2 s. and 3 s. dot?, 338, 
556, 17, 293, etc.; 3 pi. 
don, 511; imp. pi. do, 
718 ; dot?, 521, 536 ; pt. 3 s. 
did, 102, 1138; dyt, 681; 
3 pi. dyden, 633, pt. 
3 s. subj. dyd, 36; pp. 
don, 250, 282, etc. ; done, 
1042. OE. don. 

doc, duke, 211. OF. due. 

doel, grief.336,339,642 ; used 
attributively, 337 ; del, 
250; dele, 51; dol, 326; 
OF. doel, duel, dol; cp. 

doel-doungoun, dungeon of 
grief, 1187. OF. donjon ; 
LL. domnionem keep- 
tower; cp. doel. 

dole, part, 136. OE. dal. 

dom, mind, judgment, 157, 
223, 667 ; dome, 580, 699, 
OE. dom; cp. deme. 

dorst, dorste, see dar. 

dot?, see do. 

double, 202. OF. double. 
doun (i), adv. down, 30, 41, 

125, etc.; prep. 196, 230; 

cp. adoun. 
doun (2), hill, 121 ; pi. 

downe?, 73, 85. OE. 


doungoun, see doel-doun 
dousour, sweetness, 429. 

OF. dou9or. 
doute, n. doubt, 928. OF. 

douth, doughty one, 839. 

OE. duguj>. 
dowyne, see dewyne. 
dra?, imp. s. draw 699; 

pt. 3 pi. dro?, 1116; 

pp. drawen, 1193- OE. 

dragan ; cp. o-drawe?, 

died, pt. i s. feared, 186. 

OE. (on)dredan. 
drede, n. dread, 181; wyth- 

outen drede, without 

doubt, 1047; from v. 

diem, n. dream, 790, 1170. 

OE. dream. 
dresse, inf. ordain, 495 ; pp. 

drest, directed, drawn, 

860. OF. dresser. 
dreue, inf. go, 323 ; pt. i s. 

dreued, 980. OE.drafan. 
drof, see dryue. 
dro?, see dra?. 
drounde, pt. 3 s. drowned, 

656 ; cp. Dan. drukne, 

droune = OE. druncnian, 

ON. drukkna. 



drwry, dreary, 323. OE. 

dry?e, incessant, 823. ON. 

dry3ly, continuously, stead 
ily, 125, 223; cp. dry^e. 

Dry^tyn, Lord, 324, 349. 
OE. dryhten. 

dryue, pr. 3 s. subj. drive, 
1094; pt. 3 s. drof, 3. 
1153; pp- dryuen, 1194- 
OE. drlfan; cp. out-dryf. 

dubbed, pp. adorned, 73, 
202; dubbet, 97- OF. 
adouber.^ofr. of Germanic 
orig. ; cp. Norw. dubba, 
to nod, Fris. dubben, to 
strike ; cp. dubbement. 

dubbement, adornment, 
121 ; dubbemente, 109. 
OF. adoubement ; cp. 

due, 894. OF. deu. 

dunne,dark, 30. OE. dunn. 

durande, lasting, 336. OF. 

dyche, water-course, 607. 
OE. die; dat. dice. 

dyd, dyden, see do. 

dy36, inf. die, 306, 642; 
pt- 3 s. dy3ed, 828 ; dyed, 
705. ( ?) ON. deyja. 

dyst, inf. order, 360; pp. 
adorned, 920, 987 ; dy3te, 
202. OE. dihtan. 

dylle, dull, slow, 680; cp. 
OE. dol. 

dym, 1076. OE. dim. 

dyne, din, 339. OE. dyne; 
cp. denned. 

dyscreuen, inf. descry, 68. 

OF. descrivre. 
dysplese3, pr. 3 s. displeases, 

455 .' imp. s. be not 

displeased, 422. OF. 

dyssente, pr. 3 pi. descend, 

627. OF. descendre. 
dystresse, . distress, 280, 

337, dysstresse, 898. OF. 

destresse; cp. stresse. 
dystryed, pt. 3 pi. destroyed, 

124. OF. destruire. 
dyt, see do. 

efte, again, 328, 332. OE. 

ellC3, else, 32, 130, 491, 567, 

724. OE. elles. 
emerad, n. emerald, 118; 

emerade, 1005. OF. 

emperise, empress, 441. 

OF. emperesse. 
empyre, 54. OF. empire, 
enchace, inf. pursue, 173. 

OF. enchacier; cp.cha.ce. 
enclose, inf. enclose, con 
tain, 909. OF- enclos, 

pp. of enclore; cp. clos. 
enclyin, adj. prostrate, 1206. 

OF. enclin. 
en-clyne, inf. bow 630; pr. 

p. enclynande, 236. OF. 

encres, inf. increase, 959. 

OF. encreistre. 
encroched, pt. 3 s. obtained, 

brought, 1117. OF. en- 

crochier ; cp. acroche. 



adv. perfectly, 

without end, 738. OE. 

endent, pp. notched, cut 

into, inlaid, 1012; en- 

dente, 629. L. inden 
endorde, pp. used as n. 

adored, 368. OF. adorer, 

earlier aorer. 
endure, inf. 225; endeure, 

1082; pp. endured, 476- 

OF. endurer. 
endyte, pr. 3 pi. proclaim, 

give forth, 1126. OF. 

ene (i), adv. ; at ene, at one 

time, 291, 953. OE. aene. 
[ene] (2), see 730. 
enle, singly, 849. OE. 

enleuenj>e, eleventh, 1014. 

OE. endlyfta; cp. endlu- 

fon, endleofan. 
enpr[y]se, renown, 1097. 

OF. enprise. 
ensens, n. incense, 1122. 

OF. encens. 
entent, intention, purpose, 

1191. OF. entent. 
enter, inf. 966; pr. 3 s. 

entre^ 1067; pt. i s. 

entred, 38. OF. entrer. 
enurned, pp. adorned, 1027. 

OF. aorner. 
er, conj. before, 188, 224, 

324, etc.; prep. 517; adv. 

first, 319; formerly, 372; 

ere, 164. OE. fer. 
erber, herb-garden, garden. 

38, 1171; erbere, 9- OF. 

erde, land, country, 248. 

OE. card, 
ere (i), seeQi. 
ere (2), n. ear, 1153. OE. 


erle, earl, 211. OE. eorl. 
erly, adv. early, 392, 506. 

OE. serlice. 

errour, n. 402. OF. errour. 
erj>e, see vr)>e. 
erytage, see herytage. 
eschaped, pt. 3 s. subj. 

escaped from, evaded, 

187. OF. eschaper. 
ej?e, easy, 1202. OE. ea'Se. 
euel, adv. ill, 310 930. OE. 

euen (i), adv. exactly, 740. 

OE. efne. 
euen (2), inf. vie, compare, 

1073. OE. efn(i)an. 
euen-songe, evensong, ves 
pers, 529. OE. afef ensang ; 

cp. songe (i). 
euentyde, n. 582. OE. 

euer, adv. ever, 144, 153, 

180, etc. OE. aefre. 
euer-more, adv. 591, 666, 

1066; cp. much, 
excused pp. 281. OF. ex- 

ezpoun, set forth, 37. 

OF. espondre. 
expresse, adv .positively, dis 
tinctly, 910. OF. expres. 

fable, 592. OF. fable. 



face, 67, 169, 434, 809; 

fa[c]e, 675. OF. face. 
fader, father, 639, 736 ; gen. 

s. fadere}, 872. OE. 

faeder; cp. ?ore-fader. 
fa3t, pt. 3 pi. fought, 54. 

OE. feohtan, feaht. 
fande, see fynde. 
farande, plausible, fitting, 

865. OE. faran; cp. 

fare (2). 
fare (i), n. demeanour, 832. 

OE. faer. 
fare (2), inf. go, 147 ; pr. 3 s. 

fares, 129; i pi. fare to, 

behave towards, 467. 

OE. faran; cp. farande. 
fasoun, form, manner, 983, 

noi. OF. fa9on. 
faste, adv. determinedly, 54, 

150. ON. fast; cp. OE. 

faest, firm; cp. feste. 
fasure, form, 1084; fasor, 

431. OF. faisure. 
fate?, pr. 3 s. fades, 1038. 

OF. fader. 

faunt, child, 161. OF. en 
fauour, grace, 428; fauor, 

968. OF. favour. 
fax, hair, 213. OE. feax. 
faye, faith, 263; par ma 

fay, 489- OF. fei. 
fayly, inf. fail, 34; fayle, 

317; pt. 3 s. fayled, 270. 

OF. faillir. 
fayn, glad, 393, 450. OE. 

fas gen. 
fayr, adj. fair, 147, 490, 810; 

fayre, 169, 177, 747, 1024 

(see Note), etc.; comp. 

fei[r]er,io3; arfv.fayr,7i4; 

fayre, 88, 884. OE. faeger.*- 
fech, inf. fetch, 1158^5?.' 

3 s. subj. feche, 847. OE. 

fede, pp. blighted, 29. ON. 


fei[r]er, see fayr. 
fel, pt. i s. fell, 1174; felle, 

57; 3 pi. 1 120. OE. 

feallan, feoll ; cp. byfalle. 
felde, pt. i s. felt, 1087. OE. 

fele, many, 21, 439, 716, 

etc. OE. fela. 
felle, adj. fell, 367, 655. 

OF. fel. 
felon[e], crime, 800. OF. 

fenyx, phoenix, 430. OE. 

fer, adv. far, 334, 1076; 

comp. fyrre, 103, 127, 

152, 347, etc. OE. feor, 

fyrr; cp. fyrre, adj. 
fere, company; in fere, 

together, 89, 884, 1105. 

OE. (ge)fer. 
fere} (i), n. companions, 

1150. OE. (ge)fera. 
fere} (2), pr. 3 s. transports, 

98 ; pp. f eryed, 946. OE. 

ferly, wondrous, 1084; used 

as n. wonder, 1086. OE. 


f eryed, see fere?, 
feste, feast ; mafeste, 283, to 

make merry. OF. feste. 



fete, see fote. 

fewe, few, 572. OE. feawe. 
fla3t, sod, 57; cp. ON. 

flake, n. fold, 947. ON. 

flaki, a hurdle. 
flambe, inf. flame, shine, 

769; pr. p. flaumbande, 

90. OF. flamber. 
flauore}, pi. flavours, scents, 

87. OF. flaveur. 
flayn, see fly3e. 
fle, inf. flee, 294. OE. 

fle36, pt. 3 s. flew, 431 ; pi. 

flowen, 89. OE. fleogan, 

fleme, pr. 3 s. subj. drive, 

334. OE. fleman; cp. 

flesch, 306; f[l]esch, 958. 

OE. flsc. 

fleschly, 1082. OE.flaescllc. 
flet, floor, 1058. OE. flet. 
fleten, pr. pi. flow, 2 1 ; pt. 

3 s. flot, 46. OE. flotan, 

flode (i), n. flood, river, 

water, 736, 1058; pi. 

flode}, 874. OE. flod. 
flok, n. flock, company, 947. 

OE. flocc. 
flonc, pt. i s. flung, 1165. 

(?) ON. flmga; cp. ON. 

flengja; Sw. flanga. 
flor, n. flower, 29, 962 ; flour, 

426; pi. flowre}, 208. 

OF. flour, flor. 
flor-de-lys, 195 ; flour-de- 

lys,753- OF. flour-de-lys. 

flot (i), n. company, 786; 

flote, 946. OF. flote. 
flot (2), see fleten. 
floty, watery, 127. Cp. 

OF. pre flotis. 
flour, see flor. 
floury, flowery, 57. 
flowen, see fle36. 
flowred, pt. 3 s. 270. OF. 


flowre?, see flor. 
flurted, pp. figured, 208 ; cp. 

OF. fleurete. 
fly?e, inf. flay, 813; pp. 

flayn, 809. OE. flean. 
flyte, inf. chide, 353. OE. 


fode, food, 88. OE. foda. 
folde (i), n. land, 334, 736. 

OE. folde. 
folde (2), inf. bend, 813; 

pp. enfolded, 434. OWS. 

fealdan; OMerc. faldan. 
folded, pt. s. followed, 127, 

654; pr. p. folewande, 

1040. OE. folgian. 
fon, see fyne (2). 
fonde (i), inf. seek, try, 

prove, 150, 939; OE. 


fonde (2), fonte, see fynde. 
fonge, inf. receive, take, 

479 ; pr. 3 pl- fong63, 439 ; 

pt. 3 pl. fonge, 884. OE. 

fon, fangen. 
for (i), conj. 269, 321, 343, 

etc; [f]or, 700. OE.for, 

for (2), prep. 50, 99, 1050, 

etc. ; fore, 734. OE. for. 



orbede, pr. 3 5. sub}, forbid, 

379. OE, forbeodan. 
for-brent, pp. burnt up, 

1139. OE. forbernan. 

ON. brenna; cp. brende. 
for-didden, pt. 3 pi. did 

away with, 124. OE. 

fordon, -dyde; cp. do. 
for-do[k]ked, pp. despoiled, 

robbed, n; see Note. 
foreste, 67. OF forest. 
forfete, inf. forfeit, 639 pt. 

35. subj. forfeted, 619. 

OF. forfet, a fine for 

for-garte, pp. forfeited, 321. 

ON. fyrirgdra; cp. gare. 
for-go, inf. 328 ; pr. 3 s. for- 

gOS, 340. OE. forgan; 

cp. gon. 
for-36te, inf. forget 36. 

OE. forgietan. 
forhede}, foreheads, 871. 

OE. forheafod. 
for-lete, pt. i s. lost, 327. 

OE. forlfetan; cp. let. 
fcrlonge, furlongs, 1030. 

OE. furlang. 
forloyne, pr. i 5. subj. go 

astray, err, 368. OF. 

forme (i), adj. first, 639. 

OE. forma. 
forme (2), . 1209. OF. 

formed, pt. 3 s. 747. OF. 


for-payned, pp. severely tor 
mented, 246. OF. peiner, 

with pref. \ cp. E. f orpined. 

forsake, inf. 743. OE. 

forser, treasure chest, 263. 

OF. forsier. 
for-so>e, forsooth, 21, 292. 

OE. for soSe ; cp. soth. 
forth, 98, 101, 510, 980, 

1116. OE. for]>. 
fortune, 129, 306; fortwne, 

98. OF. fortune. 
forty, 786, 870. OE. 


for>e, ford, 150. OE, ford. 
for->y, therefore, 137, 234, 

701, 845. OE. for Sy. 
fote, foot, 161, 350, 970; 

pi. fete, 1 1 20. OE. fot; 

pi. fet. 
f ounce, bottom, 113. OF. 


foundemente?, see funda 

founden, see- fynde. 
fowlea, birds, 89. OE. 

fowre, four, 870, 886. OE. 

feower; cp. fur]>e. 
foysoun, n. abundance, 

used as adj. 1058. OF. 

fraunchyse, freedom, 609. 

OF. franchise. 
frayne3, pr. 3 s. asks, 

129. OE. fregnan. 
frayste, pt. i s. scanned, 

169. ON. freista. 
fre, adj. free, liberal, 481, 

796 ; adv. 299. OE. freo. 
frech, adj, fresh, 87; used 

as n. 195. OE, fersc. 



freles, blameless, immacu 
late, 431; cp. ON. 

frely, adj. free, noble, used 

as n. 1155. OE. 

frende, friend, 558, 1204. 

OE. freond. 
freuch, joyous, 1086; see 

fro, adv. 347 ; conj. since, 

251, 375, 958; prep. 10, 

13, 46, etc. ; fro me warde, 

from me, 981. ON. fra; 

cp. warde. 
frount, forehead, 177. OF. 

frym, vigorously, 1079. OE. 

fryt, fruit 894; fryte, 29; 

pi. fryte3, 87, 1078. OF. 

fryth, forest, 89, 98, 103. 

OE. frij>. 
ful, adj. 1098; adv. 28, 42, 

50, etc. OE. full. 
fundament, foundation, 

1010; pi. foundemente?, 

993. OF. funde- 

fur])e, fourth, 1005. OE. 

feorSa ; cp. fowre. 
fyf, five, 849; fyue, 451- 

fyfj>e,' fifth 1006. OE. 

fygure, 170, 747; form, 

shape, 1086. OF. figure. 

" , gold thread, 106. 

OF. fil d'or. 

fytye, filth, 1060. OE. 

fyl|>; cp. vnde-fylde. 
fyn, fine, 106; finished, 

perfect, 170; fyin, 1204. 

OF. fin. 
fynde, pr. i s. find, 150; pr. 

3 5. fynde}, 508, 514; pt. 

i s. fande, 871 ; pp. fonde, 

283 ; fonte,i 70, 327 ; foun- 

den, 1203. OE. findan; 

cp. fonde (i). 
fyne (i), n. finish, 635. OF. 

fyne (2), pr. i s. cease, 328; 

imp. sing. 353; pt. 3 s. 

fon, 1030. OF. finer. 
fynger, 466. OE. finger. 
fyr[c]e, fierce, 54. OF. fers, 

fyrre, adj. further, 148. OE. 

feorr, fyrra; adv. see 

fyrst, adj. 570, 571 ; fyrst[e], 

486, 549, 999, 1000; 

fyrste, 548; adv. 316, 

583, 1042; fyrste, 638. 

OE. fyrst. 
fyue, see fyf. 

Galalye, 817. 

galle, (i) scum, 1060; 

gawle, bitterness, 463. 

OE. gealla; ON. gall. " 
galle (2) flaw, 189, 915. 

ON. galli. 

gardyn, 260. OF. gardin. 
gare, inf. cause, 331; pt. 

3 s- gart, 1151; 3 

pi. garten, 86. ON. 




garlande, diadem, crown, 

1 1 86. OF. garlande. 
gate, way, 395, 526, 619; 

pi. gates, streets, 1106. 

ON. gata. 

gaue, gawle, see gyue, galle. 
gay, adj. 1124, 1 1 86; gaye, 

7, 260; used as n. gay, 

189; gaye, 433- OF. 

gayn, against, 138. OE. 

gayne?, pr. 3 * gains, 343. 

ON. gegna. 
gef, see gyue. 
gele, inf. tarry, 931. OE. 

gemme, gem, 118, 219, 266, 

etc. ; pi. gemme.?, 7, 253, 

991. OF. gemme. 
generaeyoun, 827; OF. 

gent, fair, gentle, 1014, 

1134; gente, 118, 253, 

265. OF. gent. 
gentyl, adj. gentle, 264, 

278, 605, 883, etc.; used 

as n. 602; gentyle, 632. 

OF. gentil. 
gesse, inf. guess, think out, 

499; cp. Dan. gissa. 
geste, guest, 277. OE. 

gete, inf. get, obtain, 95. 

ON. geta; cp. reget. 
gilofre, gillyflower, 43. OF. 

glace, inf. glide, 171. OF. 

glade, glad, 136, 1144; 

comp. gladder, 231 ; sup. 

gladdest, 1109. OE. 

glade?, pr. 3 s. gladdens, 

86 1 ; pr. p. gladande, 

171. OE. gladian. 
Gladne?, Gladness, 136. 
glas, glass, 114, 990, 1018; 

glasse, 1025, 1106. OE. 

glauere?, pr. 3 pi. deceive, 


glayre, amber, 1026. 
glayue , sword. 654 . OF.glaive. 
gle, music, joy, 95, 1123. 

OE. gleo. 
glem, n. gleam, 79. OE. 

gleem; cp. day-glem. 
glemande, pr. p. gleaming, 

70, 990. 
glene, inf. glean, 955. OF. 

glent, pt. 3 s. shone, 70, 

1026; glente, 1001; 

glanced aside, 671; pt. 

pi. glent, 1 1 06. Sw. 

glanta; cp. glente. 
glente, n. light, 114; pi. 

glente?, glances, 1144; 

cp. glent. 

glet, mire, 1060. OF. glette. 
glod, see glyde?. 
glode?, clear patches in the 

sky between clouds, 79; 

cp. ON. glaftr, shining, 

solar-glaSan, sunset; OE. 

glaed, shining; OE. 'sunne 

gS> to glade'; Orkney 

dial, glode ; cp. E. glade, 




glory, 7, I 7 I 934. 959, 

1123. OF. glorie. 
gloryous, adj. 799, 915; 

used as adv. 1144. 

OF. glorious. 
glowed, pt. 3 pi. 114. OE. 

glyde}, pr. 3 s. glides, 79; 

pt. 3 pi. glod, 1105. OE. 

gly?t, pt. 3 pi. shone, 114. 

ON. glia; cp. aglyjte. 
glymme, radiance, 1088 ; 

cp. OE. gleornu; Sw. 

glimma, to shine. 
glysnande, pr. p. glistening, 

165, 1018. OE. glisnian. 
go, see gon. 
God, 314. 342, 379, etc.; 

gen. s. Gode?, 63, 601, 

822, etc. ; Godde;, 591, 

1193. OE. G cd. 
god, good, 310, 674, 1202; 

goude, 568, 818; used as 

n. goud, 33; goude, 33; 

goods, goud, 731; god, 

734; sup. best, 1131; 

beste, 863 ; used as n. 

279; cp. wcl. OE. 


God-hede, Godhead, 413. 
god-nesse, goodness, 493. 
golde, n. gold, 2, 165, 213, 

989, 1025; g[ol]de, mi. 

OE. gold. 
golden, golden, 1106; 

changed from gulden, OE. 

golf, whirlpool, deep water, 

608. OF. golfe. 

gome, man, 231, 697. OE. 

gon, inf. go, 820 ; pr. 3 s. 

got3, 365; 3 PL 5io; 

pr. 3 s. subj. go, 53; 

imp. s. 559; pi. gos, 

521; got?, 535; pt. 3 s. 

3ede, 526, 1049; 3 pi. 

713; PP. gon, 63, 376. 

OE. gan, geeode; cp. 

vmbe-gon, for-go. 
gos, see gon. 

gospel, 498. OE. godspel. 
goste, spirit, 63, 86. OE. 

gostly, spiritual, 185, 790. 

OE. gastllc. 
gote, n. stream, 934; pi. 

gote?, 608; cp. MDu. n. 

gote; OE. v. geotan, pp. 

go ten. 

got?, see gon. 
goud, goude, see god. 
grace, grace, Divine favour, 

63, 194, 425, etc. OF. 

gracios, beautiful, full of 

grace, 189; grac[i]os, 95; 

grac[i]ous, 934; with adv. 

force, 260. OF. gracious. 
grauayl, gravel, 81. OF. 

graunt, permission, 317; 

from OF. v. graunter. 
graye, adj. 254. OE. graeg. 
grayne}, pi. grain, 31. OF. 

gray^ely, fittingly, 499. 

ON. greiSliga. 
Grece, Greece, 231. 



greffe, grief, 86. OF. 

greme, anger, 465. ON. 

grene, adj. green, 38, 1001, 

1005. OE. grene. 
gresse, grass, 10, 245; blade 

of grass, 31. OE. grass. 
gret, adj. great, 250, 330, 

511, etc., [gret], 1104; 

grete, 90, 237, 280, 470, 

637. OE. great. 
grete, inf. weep, 331. OE. 

greue (i), n. grove, 321. 

OE. grsefa. 
greue (2), pr. 3 s. subj. 

grieve, 471. OF. grever. 
grewe, see grow, 
gromylyoun, gromwell, 43. 

OF. gremillon, gremil, 

grounde (i), n. earth, 10, 

81, 434, 1173; founda 
tion, 372, 384, 396, 408, 

420. OE. grund. 
grounde (2), see grynde. 
grouelyng, adv. prostrate, 

1120; cp. ON. a grufu, 

supinus; ME. (a) gruf, 

with adv. suff. -ling. 
grow, inf. 31; pt. 3 5. 

grewe, 425. OE. growan. 
grym, grim, 1070. OE. 

grymly, cruelly, 654. OE. 

grynde, inf. grind, 81 ; 

pp. grounde, 654. OE. 


gryste, spite, 465. OE. 

gulte, guilt, 942 ; pi. gyite?, 

655. OE. gylt. 
gyfte, gift, 565; pi. gyfte?, 

607. OE. gift; ON. gipt. 
gyle, guile, 671, 688. OF. 

gylte3, see gulte. 
gyltle3, adj. used as n. 668 ; 

gy[l]tl63, 799- OE. gylt- 

gyltyf, guilty, 669. OE. 

gyltig; ME. gilti, with 

suff. -ive; cp. mornyf. 
gyng, company, 455. OE. 

genge; ON. gengi. 
gyngure, ginger, 43. OF. 

gengibre, gengivre. 
gyrle, girl, 205; cp. LG. 

gor, girl; Norw. gorre, 

a small child. 
gyse, guise, 1099. OF. 

gyternere, guitar-player, 91. 

OF. guiterne, with E. 

gyue, pr. 3 s. subj. give, 

grant, 707; gef, 1211; 

imp. s. gyf, 543, 54 6 >' 

pt. 3 5. gef, 174, 270, 

734, 765 ; gaue, 667 ; pp. 

g[yjuen, 1190. OE. gie- 

3 are, well, readily, 834. 

OE. gearo. 
3ate, gate, 728, 1037; pi. 

3ate3, 1034, 1065. OE. 

36, see J>ou. 



3ede, see gon. 

3emen, yeomen, 535 ; prob. 

OE. *gea-man (not found), 

a villager. 
3er, year, 1079; 3 ere, 503, 

505; pl. ser, 483; OE. 

gear; cp. to- 3 ere. 
36rned, pp. desired, 1190. 

OE. geornian. 
36t, yet, 19, 46, 145, etc.; 

3Cte, 1061. OE. get. 
3Cte, inf. grant, allot, 558. 

(?) late OE. geatan. 
3if, 3yf, see if. 
30n, adj. yonder, 693. OE. 

30ng, young, 412; 3onge, 

474. 535- OE. geong. 
30re, adv. formerly, of yore, 

586. OE. geara. 
3 ore-fader, forefather, 322; 

cp. fader. 
3ys, yes, yea, verily, 635. 

OE. gise. 

had, hade, haf, see haue. 
hafyng, possession, enrich 
ment, 450; cp. angel- 

halde, inf. hold, possess, 

490; pr. i s. deem, 301; 

3 s. hald63, 454J pt. 3 s. 

helde, 1002, 1029; pp. 

halden, 1191. OE. hal- 

dan; cp. byholde. 
hale^, pr. 3 s. flows, 125. 

OF. haler. 
half, 72. OE. healf; cp. 

halle, hall, 184. OE. heall. 

halte,w. hold^upport, "take 
off," 1158. OE. heald. 

han, see haue. 

happe, good fortune, 16, 
713, 1195. ON. happ. 

harde, adj. used as n., 606. 
OE. heard. 

hardyly, boldly, 3; as 
suredly, 695. OF. hardi 
with E. suff. 

harme, n. 68 1 ; pl. harme?, 
griefs, 388. OE. hearm. 

harmle^, harmless, 676, 725. 

harpe, n. harp, 88 1. OE. 

harpen, pr. 3 pl. harp, 88 1. 
OE. hearpian. 

harpore?, harpers, 88 1. OE. 

hate (i), adj. hot, 388. OE. 

hate (2), n. hatred, 463. 
OE. hete; v. hatian; cp. 
ON. hatr. 

hated, pp. 402. OE. hatian. 

hat}, see haue. 

hai'el, man, 676. OE. 

haue, inf. have, 132, 661, 
928; haf, 194, 1139; pr. 
i s. 14, 242, 244; haue, 
704, 967; 2 s. hat?, 291, 
77, 935, 97 1 ; 3 s. 446, 
465, 625, 824, etc.; i pl. 
haf, 519, 553; hauen, 
859; han, 554; 2 pl. 
haf, 257, 917; han, 373; 
3 pl. 776; pt. i s. had, 
170; hade, 164; 35. had, 
1034, 1148; hade, 209, 



476, 502, etc.; 3 pi. 
hade, 550; had, 1045; 
pt. i s. subj. hade, 134, 
1189, 1194; 3 s - IO 9, 
1142; 3 pi. 1091; pp. 
had, 1140. OE. habban. 

hauyng, see angel-hauyng. 

hawk, 184. OE. hafoc. 

haylsed, pt. 3 s. hailed, 238. 
ON. heilsa. 

he, pron. pers. nom. s. m. 
302, 332, 348, etc. ref. to 
jasper, 1001 ; h[e], 479; 
dat. ace. hym, 324, 349, 
360, etc.; [hym], 690; 
n. nom. hit, 10, 13, 
30, etc., with pi. verb. 
895, H99; hyt, 482; 
dat. ace. hit, 41, 46, 160, 
etc.; hyt, 270, 271, 283, 
284, 677, 914; /. nom. ho, 
129, 130, 131, etc.; scho, 
758; dat. ace, hyr, 8, 9, 
164, etc., hir, 188, 428; 
pi. nom. j>ay, 80, 94, 
509, etc.; dat. ace. hem, 
6 9, 7 75, etc.; h[e]m, 
635, 715: he[m], 532. 
OE. h ; c.her,hit(2),hys. 

hed, hede, see heued. 

hede, inf. heed, behold, 
1051. OE. hedan. 

he^t, see hy3t (i). 

[h]eke, also, 210. OE. eac. 

helde (i), comp. adv. more 
likely; as helde, belike, 
1193. ON. heldr; Goth, 
haldis; cp. belt, Dial. 
Diet, (see Note). 

helde (2), see halde. 

hele, welfare, 16, 713. OE. 

helle, hell, 442, 651, 840, 

1125; gen. s. 643. OJ 

hel; gen. helle. 
hem, see he. 
hemme, hem, 217; border, 

1001. OE. hemm. 
hende, ready, quiet, gentle, 

184; used as n. hynde, 

gracious, 909. OE. (ge)- 

hende; cp. ON. hentr. 
hente, inf. get, find, 669, 

H95; pr. i s. 388. OE. 

her (i), pron. poss. her, 4, 

6, 131, etc.; hir, 22, 191, 

197; hyr, 163, 169, 178, 

etc. ; cp. he. 
her (2), pron. poss. their, 

92, 93, 96, etc. ; cp. he. 
here (i), adv. 298, 389, 399, 

etc.; her, 263, 519. OE. 

here (2), inf. hear, 96; pt. 

i 5. herde, 873, 879, i 

OE. heran. 
[h]ere (3), n. hair, 210. OE. 

hser, her. 

[h]ere (4), see hyre (i). 
here-inne, herein, 261, 577; 

cp. inne. 
herne3, brains, 58. Late OE. 

haernes; cp. ON. hjar- 

ni; MDu. herne; OHG. 

herte, heart, 128, 135, 176, 

364; hert[e], 17, 51; 

hert, 174, 179, 682, 1082, 

1136. OE. heorte. 



herytage, n. 417; erytage, 
443. OF. heritage. 

heste, commandment, 633. 
OE. hes. 

hete (i), w. heat, 554, 643. 
OE. haetu. 

hete (2), pr. i s. promise, 
402; pt.^ s.hy3te,3Q5; hy3t, 
was called, 999 ; pi. 950. 
OE.hatan,het ; ^ass.hatte. 

heterly, fiercely, 402; cp. 
MLG. hetter. 

hej>en, hence, 231. ON. he- 

heue, inf. raise, 314 ; pt. 2 s. 
heue, 473. OE. hebban. 

heued, head, 459, 465; 
source, 974; hede, 1172, 
bed, 209. OE. heafod. 

heuen (i), heaven, 473, 490, 
500, 873, 988, 1126; pi. 
heuene3,423, 620 ; heuen}, 
441 ; g. sg. heuenes, 735. 
OE. heofon. 

heuen (2), inf. raise, 16. 
OE. hafenian. 

heuen-ryche, kingdom of 
heaven, 719. OE.heofon- 
nce; cp. ryche (2). 

heuy, heavy, 1180. OE. 

hider, see hyder. 

hJ3e, see hy36. 

nil, see hyl. 

hir, see he, her (i). 

his, see hys. 

hit (i), pron. pers., see he. 

hit (2), pron. poss. its, 108, 
120, 224, 740 ; hyt, 446. 

ho, see he. 

hoi, complete, 406. OE. 

holte-wode3, woods, 75 ; cp. 

holte3, woods, 921. OE. 

holy (i), adj. holy, 592, 618, 

679. OE. halig. 
holy (2), adv. wholly, 418; 

cp. hol. 
homly, adj. belonging to 

the household, intimate, 

1211; not in OE., cp. 

OHG. heimlich. 
honde, hand; com on 

honde, came to hand, was 

perceived, 155; pi. 49, 

218; honde3, 706. OE. 

hondelynge3, adv. with one's 

hands, 68 1. OE. hand- 


hondred, see hundreth. 
hone, inf. remain, be, 921 ; 

see Note. 
honour, n. 424, 475, 852, 

864. OF. hohur. 
hope (i), n. 860. OE. hopa. 
hope (2), pr. i s. think, 

suppose, 225; pt. i s. 

hope[d], 142, 185; hoped, 

139. OE. hopian. 
hornet, horns, mi. OE. 


houre3, see oure (i). 
how, 334, 690, 711, 1146. 

OE. hu. 
hue, n. shout, 873. OF. 

huee, see hwe. 



hundreth, hundred, 1107; 

hundred, 869; hondred, 

786. OE. hundred ; ON. 


hurt, pp. 1142. OF. hurter. 
huyle, clump, applied to 

shrubs, hence mound, 41 ; 

hyul (see Note), 1205 ; 

hylle, 1172. 
hwe, hue, 896; huee, 842; 

pi. hw63, 90. OE. hiw; 

cp. twynne-how. 
hyde, skin, 1136. OE. hyd. 
hyder, hither, 249, 763 ; 

hitler, 517. OE. hider. 
hy36, high, 395, 401, 596, 

1024, 1051, 1054; hy3[e], 

678; hy?, 39; adv. 

hy3, 473, 773; hy3e, 

454: hi 3 e, 207. OE. 


(i), n. height,_50i; 

hC3t, 1031. OE. heahSu, 

hehSu, hiehftu. 
hy3t (2), hy3te, see hete (2). 
hyl, hill, 789, 979 ; hil, 976 ; 

hylle, 678. OE. hyll. 
hyl-coppe, hill-top, 791. 

OE. copp. 
hym, see he. 
hymself, pron. reflex. 808, 

811, 826; hymself, 680; 

emphatic, hym-self, 812, 

825, 896, 1134; cp. self, 
hynde, see hende. 
hyne (monosyllabic], house 
hold servants, 505, 632, 
121 1. OE. hiwan, gen. 

hlna, domestics ; cp. 

ON. hju, pi. hjun. 

hyr, see he, her (i). 

hyre (i), n. wages, hire, 523, 

534. 539, 543, 53, 587; 

( ?) [h]ere, 616 (see Note). 

OE. hyr; cp. OFris. her. 
hyre (2), inf. hire, 507; pt. 

i 5. hyred, 560. OE. 

hys, pron. poss. his, 307, 

312, 354, etc.; his, 285, 

526, 715,819; [h]ys, 55; 

hys[e], 1133; hysse, 418; 

cp. he, hit (2). 
hyt, see he, hit (2). 
hytte3, pr. 3 s. has the 

chance, 132. ON. hitta, 

to light upon. 
hyul, see huyle. 

I, pron. pers. i s. nom. 3, 
4, 7, etc.; [I], 81, 363, 
977; dat. ace. me, 10, 
*3, !9, etc.; nom. pi. 
we, 251, 378, 379, etc.; 
dat. ace. vus, 454, 520, 
552, etc. OE. ic. 

ichose, see chos. 

if, conj. 147, 264, 265, etc. ; 
3if, 45, 662; 3 yf, 482. 
OE. gif. 

like, same, very, 704 ; ilk, 
995. OE. ilca. 

ille, adv. ill, 681, 1177. 
ON. ilia. 

in, prep. 2, 5, 8, etc.; on, 
881, 1103; into, 30, 61, 
224, 366, 627, 1159, 1162, 
1174, 1180; [in], 34 2 - 
OE. in. 

in-lyche, adv. alike, 546; 



inlyche, 603. OE. gelice; 

(ME. ilyche; extended to 

in-lyche ; cp. OE. onlice) ; 

cp. lyk. 
inne, adv. in, 940. OE. inne ; 

cp. here-inne. 
innocens, innocence, 708 ; 

in-oscen[c]e, 672. OF. 

innocent, adj. used as n. 

625, 720; innosent, 684, 

696; innossent, 666. OF. 

in-noghe, adj. enough, 625, 

649 ; in-nogh, 66 1 ; adv. 

in-noghe, 636; in-no3e, 

624 ; in-nogh, 660 ; i- 

noghe, 612; i-no3e, 637. 

OE. genog. 
in-nome, pp. received, 703 ; 

cp. [n]e[m]. 
in-sample,example, parable, 

499. OF. ensample. 
in-seme, together, 838; cp. 

OE. adj. gesom; v. gese- 

in-to, prep. 521, 525, 582, 

628; to, 231; into, 245, 


in-wyth, adv. within, 970. 
is, see be. 
Israel, 1040. 
i-wysse, certainly, 151, 

1128; iwysse, 394.' i- 

wyse, 279. OE. gewis. 

jacyngh[t], jacinth, 1014. 

OF. jacincte. 
jasper, 999, 1026; jasporye, 

Toi8(seeNote).OF. jaspre. 

Jerusalem, 792, 793, 804, 
etc. ; lerusalem, 829. 

Jesus, 711, 717, 820; Jesu, 
453 ; lesus, 721 ; lesu, 458. 

John, 788, 867, etc. ; lohn, 
836; Jon, 383, 818; Jhon, 
984; J[o]hn, 1020. 

jolyf, joyous, fair, 842; 
joly, 929- OF. jolif, joli. 

joparde, hazard, risk, doubt, 
602. OF. jeu parti. 

Jordan, 817. 

joueler, see jueler. 

joy, 234, 395, 796; joye, 
577,1126; ioy,266; ioye, 
128, 1197. OF. joye. 

ioyfol, joyful, 288, 300. 

joyle}, joyless, 252. 

joyned, pt. 3 s. 1009. OF. 

Judee, Judaea, 922; Judy, 

juel, jewel, 253, 277; iuel, 

249; juelle, 795, 1124; 

pi. iuele?, 278; juele, 

929. AF. juel. OF. 

joiel, jouel. 
jueler, jeweller, 264, 265, 

etc. ; juelere, 252 ; iueler, 

301 ; joueler, 734. 
JuC3, Jews, 804. AF. Jeu, 

Geu ; OF. Giu, Jui. 
jugged, pt. i s. judged, 7; 

3 pi. iugged, 804. OF. 

justyfyet, pp. justified, 700. 

OF. justifier. 

kaste, see kesten. 

kene, keen, 40. OE. cene. 



kenned, pt. 3 5. taught, 55. 

OE. cennan. 
keruen, pr. 3 pi. cut, 512 ; pp. 

coruen, 40. OE. ceorfan. 
kesten, pt. 3 pi. cast, flung, 

1122; pp. kest, 861; 

keste, 66; kaste, 1198. 

ON. kasta. 
keue, inf. dip, 320; pp. 

keued, 981. ON. kef) a. 
klyfe?, klyffe?, see clyiie. 
klymbe, see clym. 
knaw, inf. know, 410, 541, 

794, 1109; pr. i s. 

673; 2 pi. knawe, 5*6; 

3 pl> 505; pt. i 5. knew, 

66, 164, 168, 998, 1019; 

3 pi. knewe, 890; pp. 

knawen, 637. OE. cna- 

wan; cp. cnawyng. 
knelande, kneeling, 434. 

OE. cnEowlian. 
knot, n. throng, 788. OE. 

[Koyntyse], Wisdom, 690. 

OF. cointise. 
Kryst, Christ, 55, 458, 776; 

Kryste, 569; gen. Kry- 

ste}, 904. 1208; Crystes, 

383. OE. Crist. 
Krysten, adj. Christian, 

461. OE. Cristen. 
Krystyin, adj. used as n. 

Christian, 1202. OF. 

kyn, n. kind, quat kyn, 755, 

771 ; what kyn, what kind 

of, 794; alle kynne?, all 

kinds of, 1028. OE. cynn ; 

cp. man-kyn, sumkyn. 

kynde (i), n. nature, 55, 

74, 752. OE. cynd. 
kynde (2), adj. grateful, 276. 

OE. cynde. 
kyndely, adv. kindly, 369; 

kyntly, properly, 690. 

OE. cyndellce. 
kyndom, kingdom, 445. 

OE. cynedom. 
kyng, 448, 468, 480, 596. 

OE. cyning. 
kynne3, see kyn. 
kyrk, church, 1061. OE. 

circe; cp. ON. kirkja. 
kyste, coffer, 271. OE. 

kythe3, regions, 1198. OE. 

c y>j>> cyu. 
ky)>e, inf. show, 356; imp. 

pl. [k]y>e3, 369. OE. 


labor, inf. cultivate, 504. 

OF. laborer. 
labour, n. 634. OF. labour, 


lad, see lede (2). 
lade, pp. laden, 1146. OE. 

lady, 491 ; " my lady," 453 ; 

OE. hlatfdige. 
ladyly, queenly, noble, 774. 
ladyschyp, rank, dignity, 

laften, pt. 3 pl. left, 622. 

OE. laefan. 

Ia3t, pt. i s. caught, ob 
tained, 1128; Ia3te, 1205. 

OE. laeccan. 
lamb, lambes, see lombe. 



lande, see londe. 

langour, sickness, 357. OF. 

lantyrne, lantern, 1047. OF. 

lappe^, hanging sleeves, 201. 

OE. Iseppa. 
large, 201 ; bounteous, 609. 

OF. large. 
lasse, see lyttel. 
laste (i), inf. last, 956; pr. 

3 pi. Iast63, 1198. OE. 

laste (2), pp. loaded, 1146. 

OE. hlaestan. 
late, adv. 392, 538, 574, 615 ; 

adj. sup. laste, 547. 57. 

571. OE. laet. 
launce?, pi. boughs, 978. 

OF. lance. 
laue?, pr. 3 s. pours, 607. 

OF. laver. 
l[a]we, see lowe. 
lawe^, OE.lagu. 
layd, pp. 95 8 ; layde, 1172. 

OE. lecgan. 
layned, pp. concealed, 244. 

ON. leyna. 
ledden, speech, noise, 878; 

l[e]den, 874. OE. laeden. 
lede (i), n. man, Sir, 542. 

OE. leod. 
lede (2), inf. lead, 774; pr. 

i s. 409; 2 pi. 392; pp. 

lad, 801. OE. Isedan. 
lef (i), pi. leaves, 77; (of a 

book), Ieu63, 837. OE. 

leaf (neut.) ; cp. leued. 
lef (2), beloved, 266; used 

as n. 418. OE. leof. 

legg, 459- ON. leggr. 

leghe, see Iy3. 

legyounes, legions, 1121. 

OF. legion. 
lelly, loyally, faithfully, 305. 

OF. leel, with E. suff. 
leme, inf. glance, glide, 358 ; 

pt. 3 s. lemed, gleamed, 

119, 1043. (?) OE. leo- 

mian; cp. geleomod; . 

lemman, n. loved one, 763, 

796, 805, 829. OE. leof- 

lenge, inf. dwell, 261 ; pr. 2, 

pl- 933- OE. lengan. 
lenger, see long, 
lenghe, length, 416; on 

lenghe, for a long time, 

167.' OE. lengu. 
lenj>e, length, '1031. OE. 


lere, face, 398. OE. hleor. 
lesande, pr. p. loosening, 

opening, 837. OE. le- 

san, liesan. 

lese, see neuer->e-lese. 
lesse, les, see lyttel. 
lest, conj. 187, 865. OE. 

(Sy) lees e. 
leste, see lose (i). 
lesyng, n. lie, 897. OE. 

let, inf. allow ; let be, cease, 

715; imp. s. 901, 912, 

964; pl.jiS; pt. 35.20; 

lette, 813. OE. laetan. 
lette, pt. 3 5. hindered, 1050. 

OE. lettan. 
lettrure, knowledge of 



letters, learning, 751. OF. 

le>63, pr. 3 s. abates, 377; 
ME. le>, n. cp. G. ledig, 
free, MDu. onlede, 

leue (i), n. permission, 316. 
OE. leaf. 

leue (2), inf. believe, 311; 
leuen, 69; pr. i s. leue, 
469, 876; 3 s. I[e]uc3, 
302, 304, 308; i pi. 
leuen, 425; 2 pi. I[e]ue3, 
308; pr. 2 s. subj. leue, 
865. OE. (ge)lyfan. 

leued, covered with leaves, 
978; cp. lef (i). 

Ieue3, see lef (i). 

l[e]uyly, permissible, 565. 
See Note. 

liure, livery, that which is 
delivered, given freely, 
to the servants of a 
household, 1108. AF. 
livere, OF. livree. 

lo, inter j. 693, 740, 822. 
OE. la. 

1036, pool, 119. (?) OE. 

loke, inf. 934 ' P r - 3 5 - subj. 
710; imp. s. 463; pt. i 
s. loked, 167, 1145. OE. 

Ioke3, looks, appearance, 


lokyng, n. gaze, 1049. 

lombe, lamb, 413, 741, 795, 
etc.; lom[b]e, 945; 
lom[b], 815; lambe, 757, 
771 ; lamb, 407 ; lou[m]be, 

861; loumbe, 867; gen. 
Iombe3, 872 ; lambes, 785 ; 
lombe, 1141. OE. lamb. 

OF. lampe; cp. Iy 3 t. 

londe, land, 148, 937; in 
lande, in the fields, 802. 
OE. lond. 

lone, lane, 1066. OE. lane, 

long, adj. 597; long[e], 586; 
longe, 1024; adv. longe, 
hys Iyue3 longe, all his 
life, 477; 533; comp. 
lenger, 168, 180, 600, 977. 
OE. adj. fctfig, lengra, adv. 
longe. J 

longande, pr. p. belonging, 
462. (?) OE. langian, to 
long for; gelang, depen 

longed, pt. 3 s., me longed, 
I longed, 144. OE. lan 

longeyng, . longing, 244, 
1 1 80. OE. langung; cp. 

lorde, God, Christ, 285, 304, 
362, etc. ; master of vine 
yard, 502, 506, 513, etc.; 
inter j. 108, 1149. OE. 

lore, learning, custom, 236. 
OE. lar. 

lose (i), inf. 265; pt. i s. 
leste, 9; 2 s. Ieste3, 269; 
pp. loste, 1092. OE. leo- 
san, losian. 

lose (2), inf. perish, 908. 
OE. losian. 



lote, gesture, 238 ; sound, 

876; expression, appear 
ance, 896; vision, 1205. 

ON. lat, appearance; cp. 

Sw. lat, sound. 
lo>e, n. trouble, 377. OE.laJ). 
loude, adj. 878. OE. hlud. 
loue, inf. praise, 285, 342, 

IT24, 1127. OE. lofian. 
loueloker, louely, see lufly. 
10U63, pr. 3 s. loves, 403, 

407. OE. lufian. 
lournbe, see lombe. 
loute, pr. 2 pi. bow, bend, 

933. OE. lutan. 
lowe, adv. 236 ; l[a]we, 547 ; 

lowest, adj. sup. 1001. 

ON. lagr. 

luf,,467,85i. OE.lufu. 
luf-daungere, might of love, 

1 1 ; cp. daunger. 
luf-longyng, 1152 ; cp. long- 

lufly, adj. 962 ; louely, 693 ; 

comp. loueloker, 148 ; adv. 

lufly, 880, 978. OE. 

lufsoum, loveable, 398. 

OE. lufsum. 
lure?, losses, 339; losses, 

deprivations, 358. OE. 

lurked, pt. i s. crept, 978; 

cp. Norw. lurka, to sneak 

lyf, life, 247, 305, 392, etc. ; 

gen. s. Iyue3, 477, 57$, 

908. OE. lif. 
lyfed, pt. 2 s. 483; pr. 

p. lyuyande, 700; pp. 

lyued, 477, 776- OE. 

lifian, libban. 
lyfte, pp. lifted, 567. ON. 

lygyngC3, dwellings, 935 ; 

cp. ON. v. liggja. 
Iy3, inf. lie, 930 ; pr. 3 s. lys, 

360, 602; pt. 3 s. leghe, 

214. OE. licgan. 
Iy36, n. lie, 304. OE. lyge. 
Iy3t, n. light, 69, 119, 1043, 

1073. OE. leoht; cp. 

Iy3te (i), adj. bright, 238, 

500; lyjt, pure, 682. 

OE. leoht. 
Iy3te (2), adv. lightly, 214. 

OE. leohte. 
ly?te (3), pt- 2 s. alighted, 

arrived, 247; 3 s. lytf, 

descended, 943 ; pp. ly^t, 

988. OE. Hhtan. 
Iy3tly, lightly, easily, 358. 

OE. leohtllce. 
lyk, adj. like, 432, 501, 874, 

896; lyke, 735; OE. 

(ge)llc; cp. in-lyche. 
lyke,, pr. impers. pleases, 

566. OE. llcian. 
Iykne3, pr. 3 s. likens, 500; 

cp. Sw. likna. 
lykyng, pleasure, joy, 247. 

OE. licung. 
lym, limb, 462; pi. lym- 

me3, 464. OE. lim. 
lyne, line; by lyne, in due 

order, 626. OF. ligne, 

L. linca. 
lynne, adj. linen, 731. OE. 

linen; cp. OFris. linnen. 



lys, see ly?. 

lyste (i), n. desire, 173 ; joy, 
467, 908. ON. lyst; cp. 
OE. lust, lystan (vb.). 

lyste (2), pt. impers. de 
sired, 146, 181 ; cared, 
chose, 1141. OE. lystan. 

lysten, inf. listen to, 880. 
OE. hlystan. 


lyttel, adj. 387, 575, 604, 
1147; unimportant, 574; 
comp. lasse, 491, 599, 600, 
601, 853; lesse, 339, 852; 
les, 864, 876; adv. lyttel, 
172, 301; comp. les, 865, 
888, 900, 901. OE. lytel. 

lyj>e, inf. soothe, 357. OE. 
Ii6ian; cp. lej>C3. 

ly>er, adj. used as n. evil, 
567. OE. lySre. 

lyued, lyuyande, see lyfed. 

Iyue3, see lyf. 

ma (i), pron. poss. (French), 

my, 489. 
ma (2), (3), mad, made, 

madde, see make (2), mon. 
mad, adj. 267, 1199; madde, 

290; adv. 1 1 66. OE. 


maddyng, madness, 1154. 
make (i), spouse, 759. OE. 

(ge)maca; ON. maki. 
make (2), inf. make, 176, 

304, 474; ma, 283; pr. 

i s. make, 281 ; 35. mat3 

rescoghe, rescues, 610; 

3 pi- man, 512; pt. 3 s. 

made, 522, 1149; mad, 

539; 2 pi. made, 371; pp. 
mad, 274, 486, 953; 
made, 140; madde, 359. 
OE. macian. 

makele3, matchless, 435, 
780, 784; cp. make 

malte, inf. melt, malte in 

hit mesure, enter into the 

measure of it, 224 ; pt. 3 

s. 1154. OE. meltan. 
man (i), mane;, manner, 

see mon (i). 
man (2), see make (2). 
manor, manor-house, 918; 

manayre, enclosed city, 

1029. OF. manoir. 
ma[n]er63, pi. manners, 

382. AF. manere; OF. 

man-kyn, mankind, 637. 

OE. mancynn; cp. kyn. 
mare, see much, 
margyrye, pearl, 1037; pi. 

margarys, 199; mario- 

rys, 206. OF. margerie. 
marked, market, 513. Late 

OE. market, from OF. 

(L. mercatum). 
marrei, pr. 2 s. marrest, 23 ; 

pp. marre[d], 359- OE. 


Mary, 383 ; Marye, 4 2 5- 
maryage, marriage, 414; 

maryag[e], 778. OF. 

mas, service of the mass, 

1115; messe, 497- OE. 

maesse; OF. messe; L. 




mask[e]lle, spot, 843 ; mas- 
cle, 726. OF. mascle, 
macle ; L. macula. 

maskelle}, spotless, 756, 
768, 769, 780; ma[s]kel- 
103, 733; maskelles, 744. 
781 ; maskele?, 745, QOO, 
923; - ma[s]kele3, 757; 
mascelle3, 732. 

mate (i), adj. depressed, 
dejected, 386. OF. mat. 

mate (2), inf. checkmate, 
confuse, 613. OF. ma 

Mathew, 497- 

mat?, see make (2). 

may (i), maiden, 435, 780, 
961. (?) OE. mseg. 

may (2), pr. i s. can, may, 
487, 783; 2 s. 296, 347, 
694, 703, 966, 970; 3 s. 
300, 310, 312, etc. ; 2 pi. 
918; moun, 536; 3 pl- 
29, 336; pt. i s. mo3t, 
1 88; 2 s. my3te3, 317; 
3 s. most, 34. J 94. 22 3, 
etc.; mo3te, 475, 1196; 
my3t, 69,135,176,722,891, 
1082, 1157; 2 pi. mo3t, 
1051; 3 pi. mo3t, 92; 
my3t, 579. OE. maeg, 
magon, meahte, mihte. 

mayden, 162; pi. may- 
dene3 ,1115; maydenne3 
869. OE. maegden. 

maynful, mighty, powerful, 
1093. OE. n. maegen; 
suff. -ful. 

mayster, master, 462, 900. 
OF. maistre. 

mayster-ful, masterful, 401. 

me, see I. 

mede, n. reward, 620. OE. 

meke, meek, 404, 815, 832, 

961. ON. mjukr. 
mekenesse, 406. 
mele, inf. speak, 925 ; melle, 

797, 1118; pr. 35. mele3, 

497; pt. i s. meled, 5 8 9- 

OE. mselan. 
[m]ele, n. discourse, 23. 

OE. msel. 
melle, n. in melle, in midst, 

among, 1127. ON. i milli. 
membr63, members, 458. 

OF. membre. 
men, see mon ( i ). 
mender, n. pi. amends, 351. 

OF. amende. 
mendyng, improvement, 

452. OF. amender. 
mene, inf. mean, 293, 951; 

pr. 2 s. mene3, 937. OE. 

mensk, grace; dignity, 783; 

menske, 162. OE. men- 

nisc; ON. menska. 
menteene, inf. maintain, 

783. OF. maintenir. 
meny, see meyny. 
mercy, 356, 623, 670; merci, 

576; mersy, 383- 
mere, mere, stream, 158 ; pi. 

mere3,i40,n66. OE.mere. 
merked, pp. marked, out, 

situated, 142. OE. mear- 


mersy, see mercy, 
meruayle, . astonishment, 



1130;' marvel, portent, 

157; merwayle, 1081 ; pi. 

meruayle;, 64. OF. mer- 

meruelous, marvellous, 

1 1 66. OF. merveillous. 
mes, course, meal, 862. 

OF. mes. 
meschef, misfortune, ill, 

275. OF. meschef. 
mesure, measure, worth, 

224. OF. mesure. 
mete (i), adj. fit, 833, 1063. 

OE. (ge)msete; cp. vn- 

mete (2), n. food, 641. OE. 

mete (3), inf. meet, 918; 

find, 329 ; pr . i pi. meten, 

380. OE. metan. 
meten, pp. measured, 1032. 

OE. metan. 
meuen, pr. 3 pi. move, 

dwell, exist, 64 ; pt. 3 5. 

meued, moved, 156. OF. 

movoir; stem muev-. 
meyny, company, retinue, 

892, 899, 925, 960, 1127, 

1145; meny, 542. OF. 

mesniee, maisnee. 
mir>e, see myr>e. 
mo, see much, 
mod, disposition, 401 ; mode, 

738, 832. OE. mod. 
moder, mother, 435. OE. 

mode}, modulations, 884. 

OF. mode. 
mo;t, mo^te, molten, see 
may (2). 

mokke, dirt, 905. ON. 

mol, see mul. 

molde^, pi. moulds, 30. 
OE. molde. 

mon (i), n. man, 69, 95, 310, 
etc.; man, 314, 386, 675, 
685, 1195 ; gen. s. manne?, 
223 ; mane3, 94. I *54 : pi- 
men, 290, 331, 336, etc.; 
pron.indef. one, 194, 799; 
man, 165, 334; ma, 323- 
OE. mann; cp. stro>e- 

mon (2), n. moan, 374. 
OE.* man (770* found ; cp. 

mone, moon, 923, 1044, 
1045, 1056, 1057, 1068, 
1069, 1072, 1081, 1092, 
1093 ; month, 1080. OE. 

mony, many, 160, 340, 572. 
mony a, 775. OE. manig. 

moote, 948, moat. OF. mote. 

more, see much. 

morne, inf. mourn, 359. 
OE. murnan. 

mornyf, adj. as adv. miser 
ably, 386. OE. murne, 
+ suff. -ive; cp. gyltyf. 

mornyng, n. mourning, 262. 
OE. murnung. 

moste, see much, mot (2). 

mot (i), see mote (2). 

mot (2), pr. 3 s. must, 31, 
320, 663; [mo]t, 25; 
mot, may, 397; pt. 2 s. 
moste, 319, 348 ; 3 pi. 623. 
OE. mot, moste. 



mote (i), castle, walled 
city, 142, 936, 937, 948, 
973; pi. motes, 949- 
OF. mote. 

mote (2), spot, speck, 726, 
764. 855, 924, 960, 
972; mot, 843. OE. 

motele3, spotless, 925, 961; 
moteles, 899. 

mote3, pr. 2 s. arguest, 613. 
OE. motian. 

moul, mould, earth, 23 ; cp. 
Sw. dial, mul, muel. 

moun, see may (2). 

mount, n. 868. OE. munt. 

mounte3, pr. 3 pL amount 
to, 351. OF. munter. 

mouth, 183, 803. OE. 

much, adj. 244, 604, 776, 
1118, 1130, 1149; comp. 
more, 128, 132, 133, etc.; 
mo, 151, 340, 850, 870, 
1194; adv. 234, 303, 374, 
576; comp. more, 144, 145, 
156, 168, 169, 180, 181, 
212, 565, 588, 589, 599; 
mare, 145; sup. moste, 
1131. OE. micel; mara, 
mare, ma; m&st; cp. 

mul, dust, 905; mol, 382. 
OE. myl. 

munt, intention, 1161; cp. 
OE. myntan. 

my, pron. pass. 15, 16, 17, 
etc.; myn, 128, 174, 176, 
179, 200, 566, 1208; by 
myn one, by me in soli 

tude, 243; myne, 335- 

OE. mm; cp. I. 
myddeq, in mydde}, in the 

midst of, 222, 740; in 

myde3, 835; cp. OE. to 

my3t (i), power, 630, 765; 

my3te, 1069; myste, 462. 

OE. mint. 

my3t (2), my3te3, see may (2). 
myke3, pi- special friends, 

572 (see Note). 
mylde, mild, 961, 1115; 

used as n. gentle ones, 

721. OE. milde. 
myn, myne, see my. 
mynde, n. mind, 156, 224, 

1130, 1154. OE (ge)- 

mynge, inf. remember, 

think, 855. OE. myn- 

mynne, inf. remember, 583. 

ON. minna. 
mynyster, minster, 1063. 

OE. mynster. 
myr>e, mirth, 92; mir>e, 

1 149 ; personified, [Myr)>e], 

140. OE. myrgj>. 
myr)>e3, pr. 3 s. gladdens, 

myry, merry, 23, 158, 781, 

936 ; comp. myryer, 

850; sup. myryeste, 199; 

myryest, 435. OE. 

mys (i), amice, robe, 197. 

OF. amis; L. amictus. 
mys (2), see mysse (i). 
myself, pron. reflex. 1175; 



emphatic, 414; my-seluen, 

myserecorde, compassion, 

366. OF. misericorde. 
myse-tente, pp. misunder 
stood, 257; cp. tente. 
mysse (i), n. loss, 364; mys, 

262; cp. OE. missan, to 

fail to meet. 
mysse (2), inf. miss, 329; 

pr. i s. 382. OE. missan; 

ON. missa. 
mysseseme, inf. neglect, 

leave ill-guarded, 322. 

OE. misgeman. 
myste, see my3t (i). 
mysterys, mysteries, 1194. 

L. mysterium. 
myte, mite, 351. OF. mite. 
my|>e, inf. avoid (sorrow), 

359. OE. mift'an (see Note) . 

, na3te, 

name, n. 1039; nome, 872; 
/.name[3],998. OE.nama. 

nature, n. 749. OF. nature. 

naule, navel, 459. OE. 

naul eles, naw|>eles, see 

nawhere, nowhere, 534, 
932. OE. nahwair. 

naw>er, conj. neither, alter 
native with ne, 485, 1044, 
1087; nau>er, 465, 484; 
[n]o}>er, 848; ne . . . 
naw>er, nor . . . neither, 
751. OE. nahwaefter. 

ne, adv. not, 35, 65, 293, 350, 
471, 619; strengthening 

another negative, 4, 362, 
403, 516, 1071, 1082; 
strengthening two nega 
tives, 825, 898; conj. nor, 
262, 334, 347, 465, 484, 
485, 688, 751, 764, 843, 
848, 897, 918, 1044, 1045, 
1057, 1062, 1087; cp. nis. 

nece, niece, 233. OF. niece; 
pop. L. neptia. 

nedde, pt. impers. needed, 
1044. OE. neodian. 

nede, n. need, 1045 ; gen. s. 
ned63, necessarily, 25, 
344, OE. ned. 

[n]C3bor, neighbour, 688. 
OE. neahgebur. 

[n]e[m], pt. 3 s. seized, 802; 
3 pi. nom, received, 587; 
OE. niman. cp. in-nome. 

nemme, inf. name, 997. 
OE. nemnan. 

nente, ninth, 1012. OE. 
nigofta; ON. niundi. 

ner, adv. near, 286; nere, 
404 ;[n] ere, 2 62. OE. near; 
cp. welnygh. 

nerre, adj. comp. nearer, 
233. OE. nearra. 

nesch, soft, pleasant, 606. 
OE. hnesce. 

neuer, never, 19, 71, 333, 
etc. ; with negative, not 
ever, 4, 262, 825, 889, 
900, 1071. OE. ncefre. 

neuer->e-lese, neverthe 
less, 912, 913; nau]>eles, 
877 ; naw]>eles, 95 
now>e-lese,889; c^.lyttel. 

newe, new, see nwe. 



nis, see be (i). 

no, pron. 32, 69, 95, etc.; 

non, 206, 209, 215, 219, 

etc.; none, 440; adv. 

347, 95L 977. 1190. 

OE. nan, na. 
noble, adj. 922, 1097. OF. 

n03t, pron. nothing, 274, 

337. 563, 5?8, 657, 1050; 

with negative, anything, 

520. OE. nawiht. 
nom, see [n]e[m]. 
nome, see name. 
non, none, see no. 
not, 29, 34, 92, etc.; cp. 

note (i), matter, 155, 922. 

OE. notu. 
note (2), song, 879; pi. 

note}, musical notes, 883. 

OF. note. 
[n]oj>er, see naw^er. 
now, 271, 283, etc. OE. nu. 
nowj>e-lese, see neuer->e- 

nwe, new, 155, 792, 879, 

882, 943, 987; nw[e], 

527; newe, 894; adv. 

nwe, anew, 1080, 1123; 

new, 662. OE. mwe, 

ny3t, night, 116, 1071; 

ny3te, 243; na3t, 523; 

na3te, 1203. OE. niht, 

nys, see l>e (i). 

(i), inter j. 23, 241, 745, 

o (2), prep., see of. 

obes, pr. 3 pi. do obeisance 
to, 886. OF.obeiss-,obeir. 

odour, 58. OF. odur. 

of, adv. off, 237, 358; 
prep. 3, 12, 55, etc.; 
by (of agent] n, 248; 
from, 31, 33, 36, etc.; 
with, 25, 76, 119, 206, 
207; in, 896, 1101; out 
of, 1126; o, 39, 429, 
792, 1018 ; of al and sum, 
in full, 584. OE. of. 

ofte, often, 14, 340, 388; 
comp. ofter, 621. OE. 

036, pr. (impers.) ought, 
552; pr. i s. [a] we (MS. 
owe), owe, 543; pt. 3 s. 
a3t, ought, 1139; (im 
pers.} 03te, 341. OE. 

03t, pron. something, 274; 
anything, 1200. OE. 

olde, 941, 942; comp. alder, 
621; sup. aldest, 1042. 
OE. aid. 

on (i), num. one, 293, 530, 
55 i, 557> [o]n, 860; at 
on, in accord, 378; an, 
869 (cp. 786); indef. 
pron. 953; gen. s. one3, 
864 ; indef. art. on, 9 ; adv. 
one, alone, 243, 312. 
OE. an; cp. a, an, 

on (2), prep, on, upon, 41, 
45, 60, etc. ; in, 97, 
243, 425, 710, 874, 1079, 



1095 ; on honde, to hand, 
155; on lenghe, for a 
long time, 167; adv. 255, 


one}, see on (i). 
only, adv. used as prep. 

except, 779. OE. anllc. 
onslyde?, pr. 3 pi. sway, 77 ; 

cp. slode. ? OE. aslidan. 
on-sware, inf. answer, 680. 

OE. andswerian ; cp. 

answar, sware. 
on-vunder, see an-vnder. 
open, adj. 183; vpen, 1066; 

vpon, 198. OE. open. 
or, see o>er (i). 
oryent, n. Orient, 3; ory- 

ente, 82 ; used as adj. 

orient, 255. OF. orient. 
o>er (i), conj. or, 118, 130, 

141, 491, etc.; or, 233; 

cp. OE. o]>J>e. 
o>er (2), adj. other, 206, 

209, 219, 319, 842, 

935 ; pron. 449 ; gen. s. 

o]>ere3, 450; pi. oj^er, 

585, 773, 778. OE. 

oure (i), n. hour, 530, 551; 

pi. houre;, 555- OF. 

hore, ure. 
oure (2), pron. poss. 304, 

322, 455, etc.; our, 851. 

OE. ure; cp. I. 
Out, adv. with of, 282, 365, 

642, 649, 1058, 1163, 

1170; oute of, 3- OE. 

out-dryf, inf. drive out, 

777; cp. dryue. 

out-fleme, n. exile, 1177. 

OE. ut-flema ; cp. fleme 

(see Note). 
out-ry3te, adv. straight out, 

1055; cp. ryst. 
out-sprent, pt. 3 5. spurted 

out, 1137; cp. Sw. 

dial, sprinnta, to burst; 

spritta, to start. 
ouer, adv. too, 473; prep. 

over, 318, 324, 454, 

773, 1 1 66; above, 

1205; o[u]er gayn, ovei 

against, 138. OE. ofer 

cp. gayn. 
ouerte, open, plain, 59; 

OF. overt, 
ouerture, n. opening, 218. 
owne, adj. own, 559. O 


pace, passage, verse, 677. 

OF. pas. 
pakke, pack, company, 

929 : cp. Du. pak. 
pale, inf. appear pale, ioo/ 

OF palir. 
pane,w. side, 1034. OF. pai 
par, prep. (French), by, 480 
paradys, Paradise, 248, 321 

paradyse, 137. OF. pz 

radis ; Gk. Trapafetcr 

parage, high rank, 419. 

OF. parage. 
paraunter, perchance, 588. 

OF. per aventure. 
parfyt, perfect, 638, 1038; 

perfet, wrought, 208. OF, 




part, n. share, 573. OF. 

parties, adj. without a 

share, 335. 
passe, inf. pass, 299, 707, 

i no; pr. 3 s. passe}, 

surpasses, 753; pt. 3 s. 

subj. passed, surpassed, 

428; pp. passed, 528. 

OF. passer; cp. apassed. 
Pater, n. the Lord's Prayer, 

485. L. pater, father. 
P[a]ule, Paul, 457. 
pay, inf. pay, 635; please, 

1201; pr. i 5. 524; 3 s. 

paye^, 632; imp. s. 

pay, 542; impers. pt. s. 

payed, pleased, 1165, 

1177; pp. payed, 584. 

603. OF. payer. 
paye, pleasure, i, 1164, 

1176, 1188, 1189, 1200; 

pay, 1212. OF. paye. 
payment, 598. OF. paye- 

payne, n. pain, 664, 954; 

pi. payne?, 124. OF. 

peine; cp. for-payned. 
paynted, pt. 3 5. 750. OF. 

peindre; cp. depaynt. 
payred, pp. injured, 246. 

OF. empeirer, apeirer. 
pechche, n. speck, 841. OF. 

penaunce, 477. OF. pene- 

aunce, penance. 
pene, see peny. 
penned (MS. spenned), pp. 

imprisoned, 53. OE. 


pensyf, pensive, 246. OF. 

| peny, penny, 546, 560, 614; 

pene, 51. 562. OE. 

pening, penig. 
pere, . peer, equal, 4. OF. 

per, peer. 
pere;, pear-trees, 104. OE. 


perfet, see parfyt. 
perle, n. pearl, i, 12, 24, 

etc.; pi. perle}, 82, 192, 

193, etc. OF. perle. 
perre, precious stones, 

1028; "p. pres.," jewels 

of price, 730. OF. pierre. 
peryle, peril, 695. OF. 

pes, peace, 742, 952, 953, 

955. OF. pais. 
pitously, see pytosly. 
place, n. 175, 405, 440, 

679, 1034- OF. place. 
planete;, planets, 1075. OF. 

plate}, pi. plates, 1036. OF. 

play, inf. 261. OE. ple- 

playn, adj. flat, clear, 

smooth, 178; adv. plainly, 

689; n. plain, 104; pi. 

playne^, 122. OF. plain. 
playned, see pleny. 
playnt, complaint, 815. OF. 

pleny, inf. complain, 549; 

pt. is. playned, lamented, 

53 ; pp. 242. OF. plain- 




plesaunte, adj. pleasing, i. 
OF. plesant. 

plese, inf. please, 484. OF. 

plete, inf. plead, 563. OF. 
plaider; (n. plaid, plet; 
late L. placitum, a deci 
sion) . 

plontte?, /. plants, 104. OE. 

plye, inf. mould, shape, 
show forth, 1039. OF. 

ply3t, see plyt. 

plyt, state, condition, 1015, 
1114; sore plight, 647; 
ply}t, 1075. OF. plite, 
condition ; OE. pliht, 
danger (the words were 
not always kept apart}. 

pobbel, pebble, 117. OE. 

pole, pool, stream, 117. OE. 

porchace, inf. purchase, 
744; pr. 3 pi. porchase?, 
hunt after, 439. OF. 

pore, see pouer. 

porfyl, embroidery, 216 ; 
cp. OF. pourfiler. 

porpos, intention, 508; por- 
pose, 185, 267. OF. por 

portals, portals, 1036. OF. 

possyble, 452. OF. possible. 

pouer, adj. poor, 1075; 
pore, 573- OF. povre; 
dial, poure. 

poursent, precinct, 1035. AF. 
purceynt ; OF. porceint. 

powdered, pp. 44. OF. 

poyned, n. wristband, 217. 
F. poignet. 

poynt, n. 594; mark, 309; 
jot, single note, 891. 
OF. point. 

pray (i), n. prey, booty, 
439. OF. praie. 

pray (2), inf. 484; pt. 3 
prayed, 1192; 3 pi. 714. 
OF. preier. 

prayer, 355; prayere, 618. 
OF. preiere. 

prayse, inf. 301; pp. pray- 
sed, 1 1 12. OF. preisier. 

precios, precious, 4, 36, 204, 
216, 228, 229, 330: 
prec[i]os, 60, 192; preci 
ous, 48, 82, 1212. OF. 

pref, n. put in pref to, 
proved to be, 272. OF. 

pres (i), n. throng, multi 
tude, crowding, 1114. OF. 

pres (2), pr. i pi. press, has 
ten, 957. OF. presser. 

prese, n. price, worth, 419; 
used as adj. pres, 730. 
( ?) OF. preis. 

present, n. presence, 1193; 
presente, 389. OF. pre 
sent ; orig. in phrase ' en 

preste, priest, 1210. OE. 



p[re]termynable, adj. fore 
ordaining, 596; prob. L. 

prued, see proued. 

prince, n. 1201 ; gen. s. 
prynce3, 1164, 1176, 
1189; prynces, i; pryn- 
863, 1188. OF. prince. 

priuy, see pryuy. 

proferen, pr. 3 pi. proffer, 
1200; pt. 3 s. p[ro]fered, 
235. OF. proferer. 

professye, n. prophecy, 821. 
OF. prophecie. 

profete, prophet, 797; pro- 
phete, 831. OF. pro- 

proper, fitting, noble, 686. 
OF. propre. 

property, property, peculiar 
ity, 446; pi. property] 3, 
752. OF. proprete. 

proudly, mo. OE. prut- 

proued, pt. i s. tested, found, 
4; pp. preued, 983. OF. 
prover, stem preuv-. 

prosessyoun, procession, 
1096. OF. procession. 

pryde, n. 401. OE. pryte. 

prynce3, see prince. 

prys, price, excellence, 193, 
272, 419, 746. OF. 

pryse, inf. prize, 1131. OF. 

pryuy, adj. intimate, own, 
12 ; priuy, 24. OF. prive. 

pure, 227, 745, 1088. OF. 

purly, chastely, 1004. 
purpre, adj. purple, 1016. 

OF. pourpre. 
put, pp. 267, 272. OE. 

pyece, n. thing, person, 

192; py[ec]e, 229. OF. 

Py?t, pt. 3 s- set (with 

jewels), 742, 768; pp. 

117, 192, 205, 217, 228, 

229, 241, 991 ; py3te, 193. 

216, 240; cp. MDu. 

picken; cp. vmbe-py^te. 
pyke3, pr. 3 pi. pick up, 

get, 573; pp- pyked, set, 

adorned, 1036; cp. ON. 

pyle, castle, stronghold, 

686 ; origin unknown. 
Pymalyon, Pygmalion, 750. 
pynakled, pp- pinnacled, 

207. OF. pinacle. 
pyne, pain, 330; labour, 

511. OE. pin. 
pyonys, peonies, 44. OF. 

pione,pioine; Lat. paeonia. 
pytosly, piteously, 370; 

pitously, 798. OF. pi- 

teus, pitous. 

pyty, n. pity, 1206; pyte, 

355. OF. pite. 

quat, see quo. 

quat so, pron. rel. whatever, 

566; cp. quo (2). 
quayle, n. quail, 1085. OF. 

quelle, inf. kill, 799. OE. 




queme, pleasant, 1179. OE. 

<iuen, conj. when, 40, 79, 

93, etc. ; when, 332, 335, 

347, etc. OE. hwaenne. 
quene, queen, 415, 423, 

456, etc.; quen, 432, 

433. 444. 44 8 > 474. 4 86 - 
OE. cwen. 

quere, conj. where, 65, 376; 
where, 68, 617. OE. 

quer[e], query, question, 
803. L. quaerere (2 s. 

quere-so-euer, conj. wher 
ever, 7 ; cp. euer. 

que]>er-so-euer, conj. whe 
ther, 606; cp. whe- 

quo (i),pron.interr.masc.fem. 
427, 678, 747, 827; who, 
1138; neut. quat, 755, 
771; what, 249, 331, 
336, 463, 475, 479; why, 
1072. OE. hwa. 

quo (2), pron. rel. nom. 
masc. fern, who, 693, 
709; who, whoever, 344; 
dat. quom, 453; wham, 
131 ; quo [so], whoever, 
709; neut. quat, 186, 293; 
what, 392, 794.' what 
ever, 523 ; cp. quat SO. 

quo]?, pt. i s. said, 241, 279, 
325, etc. ; 3 s. 569, 758, 
781. OE. cwe$an, cwae}>. 

quoynt, clever, skilful, 889. 
OF. coint. 

quy, see why. 

quyke, lifelike, 1179. OE. 

quyt, adj. white, 207, 842, 

ion, 1150; quyte, 220, 

844, 1137; qwyte, 1102; 

whyt, 163, 178, 197, 

1133; whyte, 219. OE. 

quyte3, pr. 2 s. requitest, 

595. OF. quiter. 

raas, see resse. 
I ran, pt. 3 5. 646, 1055 ; pp. 

runne, 26, 523; runnen, 

874. OE. rinnan. 
rande?, borders, 105. OE. 


rapely, hastily, 1168; rash 
ly- 363. ON. hrapaliga. 
rasch, adj. hasty, 1167; cp. 

ON. roskr; Du. rasch. 
rau]>e, grief, 858. ON. 

hrygS; cp. ruful. 
raue (i), inf. wander, stray, 

665. ON. rafa. 
raue (2), pr. i s. rave, 363. 

OF. raver. 
rauyste, pp. ravished, filled 

with ecstasy, 1088. OF. 

ravir ; stem raviss-. 
rawe, n. row, 545; pi. 

rawC3, hedgerows, 105. 

OE. raw. 
raxled, pt. i s. stretched 

myself, 1174. OE. * rax- 

lian (not found}. 
ray, n. 160. OF. rai. 
raykande, pv. p. wandering, 

112. ON. reika. 
rayse, inf. 305. ON. reisa. 



raysoun, see resoun. 
rebuke, imp. pi. 367. AF. 

rebuker; OF. rebuchier. 
recen, inf. relate, 827. OE. 

rech, pr. i s. care, 333. 

OF. reccan. 

recorde, n. 831. OF. re 
red, adj. nn; rede, 27. 

OE. read. 
rede, inf. read, 709 ; pr. i s. 

advise, 743. OE. rsedan. 
redy, ready, 591. OE. 

rsede -J- -ig. 
refete, inf. revive, 88. OF. 

refet, pp. o/refaire. 
reflayr, fragrance, 46. OF. 


reget, inf. get again, re 
deem, 1064 ; cp. gete. 
regioun, n. 1178. OF. 

regne, kingdom, 501; ren- 

gne, 692. OF. regne. 
regretted, pp. 243. F. re- 

gretter ; OF. regrater ; 

(? cp. ON. grata, to 

weep) . 

relate 3, attributes of royal 
ty, 77- OF. reiaute. 
reken, quick, noble, radiant, 

5, 92, 906. OE. recen. 
reles, intermission, 956. 

OF. reles. 
relusaunt, pr. p. shining, 

159. OF. reluisant. 
reme (i), n. realm, 448, 

735. OF. reaume. 
reme (2), inf. cry aloud, 

1181; pr. 2 pi. remen, 
858. OE. hreman. 

remnaunt, remainder, 1160. 
OF. remenant. 

remorde, pp. tormented, 
364. OF. remordre. 

remwe, inf. remove, 427; 
depart, 899. OF. remuer. 

rengne, see regne. 

renoun, renown, 986, 1182. 
AF. renoun; OF. renon. 

re-nowle3, pr. 3 pi. renew, 
1080. OF. renoveler. 

rent, pp. torn, 806. OE. 
rendan; cp'. to-rente. 

reparde, pp. shut off, kept 
back, 611. ME. parren, 
to enclose. OE. *pearrian 
(cp. parrock); with pref. 
re- in sense of ' back, 
away from.' 

repayre, inf. resort, come 
together, 1028. OF. re 
pairer; L. repatriare. 

repente, impers. 'pr. subj. 
repent, 662. OF. re- 

repren[y], inf. reprove, 544. 
OF. reprendre. 

requeste, n. 281. OF. re 

rere, inf. stand out, 160; 
pp. rert, upraised, 591. 
OE. rseran. 

rescoghe, n. rescue, 610. 
OF. rescousse; cp. v. 

reset, refuge, harbour, 1067. 
OF. recet. 

resnabelef , reasonable, 523. 



OF. resonable; cp. vn- 

resoun, n. reason, 52, 665; 
raysoun, cause, 268; pi. 
resoune;, arguments, 716. 
OF. raisun, resun. 

respecte, n. 84. OF. respect. 

respyt, n. respite, 644. OF. 

resse, n. rush, haste, 874; 
raas, 1167. OE. ras; ON. 

rest, inf. 679. OF. rester. 

restay, inf. pause, 437; 
pt. 3 pi. restayed, hindered, 
716; pp. 1168. OF. 

reste, . 858, 1087. OE. 

restored, pp. 659. OF. re 
storer; L. restaurare. 

retrete, inf. re- tell, 92. OF. 

reue, reeve, steward, 542. 
OE. (ge)refa. 

reuer, river, 1055; pi. 
reuer63, river-meadows, 
105. OF. rivere, reviere. 

rewarde, n. 604. OF. re 

rewfully, sorrowfully, 1181; 
cp. ruful. 

riche, see ryche (i). 

rode, rood, cross, 646, 705, 
806. OE. rod. 

roghe, adj. rough, 646. OE. 

rokke?, n. rocks, 68. OF. roc. 

ronk, luxuriant, 844; vio 
lent, 1167. OE. ranc. 

ros, see ryse. 

rose, n. 269, 906. OE., OF. 

rot, n. decay, 26 ; cp. MDu. 

rote (i), n. root, 420. ON. 

rote (2), inf. decay, 958. 

OE. rotian. 
rounde, adj. 5, 657, 738. 

OF. roond. 
rourde, voice, 112. OE. 

route, company, 926. OF. 


rownande, pr. p. whisper 
ing, 112. OE. runian. 
ruful, sorrowful, 916. OE. 

adj. hreow; cp. rewfully, 


runne, runnen, see ran. 
ryal, royal, 160, 193; ryalle, 

191, 919. OF. real. 
ryally, royally, 987. 
ryche (i), adj. rich, 646, 

770, 906, 919, 1097; 

rych[e], 68, 1036; rych, 

105, 1182; riche, 993. 

OE. rice. 
ryche (2), n. kingdom, 601, 

722. OE. rice; cp. 

ryche}, n. treasure, 26. OF. 

ryf, abundant, 770, 844. 

ON. rifr. 

adj. used as n. well 
doing, 496, 622; justice, 

580, 591, 665, 684, 720, 

1196; ryste, 672, 696; 



claim, 708; alegge >e 
lyji, renounce thy claim, 
703; adv. even, 298,461, 
673 723. 88 5, 1093, 1169; 
ry$t m>3t, nothing at all, 
520. OE. riht; cp. out- 

ry^twys, righteous, 685, 697, 

739; ry3t-wys, 675, 689. 

OE. rihtwis. 

ry3twysly, adv. rightly, 709. 
ryse, inf. rise, 103 ; rys,io93 ; 

pr. 3 s. ryse3, 191 ; pi. 3 s. 

ros, 437, 506, 519. OE. 

risan; cp. aros. 

sadde, serious, grave, 887 ; 

sade, 211. OE. saed, sated. 
sade, see say. 
saf, secure, safe, saved, 672, 

684, 720 ; saue, 696. OF. 

saffer, sapphire, 118, 1002. 

OF. saphir, safir. 
saghe, saying, word, 226; 

saw63, 278. OE. sagu. 
sa3, see se. 
sa3t, n. peace, 52; sete 

sa3te=to establish peace, 

1201. OE. seaht, from 

ON. *saht (cp. Icel. satt). 
sake, n, cause, 800 ; sake, 

940. OE. sacu. 
saker-fyse, n. sacrifice, 1064. 

OI V . sacrifice. 
Salamon, Solomon, 689. 
same, adj. 1099, noi. 

ON. same. 
samen, adv. together, 518. 

ON. saman; OE. somen. 

sange, see songe (i). 

Sant, see Saynt. 

[sarde], sardius, 1007. F. 

sardonyse, sardonyx, 1006. 

L. sardonyx. 
sat}, see say. 
saule, see sawle. 
Sauter, Psalter, 593, 677, 

698. OF. sautier. 
saue (i), see saf. 
saue (2), inf. save, 674; pr. 

3 5. saU63, 666. OF. 

sauerly, adj. tasty, fitting, 

226. OF. savour, saveur. 
sawe3, see saghe. 
saw[l]e, soul,46i ; saule,845. 

OE. sawel. 
say, inf. 226, 256, 258, 391 , 

1041, 1089; saye, 482; pr. 

i s. saye, 3:25. says, 295, 

297, 49 ; say3, 6is;sayt3, 

315; 3 5. says, 693, 867; 

sayt3, 457. 5i, 697; 

sat3, 677; pt. i s. sayde, 

589, 962; sade, 784; 

sayd, 1175; 3 s. sayde, 

289, 338, 398, etc.; 

s[a]yde, 433 ; sade, 

532; 3 pi. sayden, 534, 

550; pp. sayd, 593- OE. 

Saynt, adj. 457, 818; Sant, 

788; used as noun in pi. 

saynte3, 835. OF. saint. 
say^, sayt3, see say. 
scale, surface, 1005; cp. 

OE. scealu; OF. escale; 

OHG. scala. 



scliadowed, pt. 3 pi. shaded, 
42. OE. sceadwian. 

schafte^, rays, 982. OE. 

SChal, i, 2, 3 s. 3 pi. forming 
fut. tense, 283, 348, 405, 
etc. ; must, 328, 329, 332, 
344, 424; intend to, 
265, 298, 315; 2 s. 
schalte, 564; pt. i, 3 s. 
3 pi. schulde, ought, 314, 
634, 903, 924; intended 
to, 153, 1162; could, 
1159; must 668; form 
ing subj, 1 86, 930, 1072. 
OE. sculan. 

SCharpe, adv. sharply, 877. 
OE. scearpe. 

schawe;, see wod-schawe3. 

schede, inf. separate, de 
part, 411; pt. 3 5. shed, 
741. OE. sceadan. 

schene, beautiful, resplen 
dent, 42, 80, 203, 1145; 
used as n. 166, 965. OE. 

schente, pp. shamed, 608. 
OE. scendan. 

schep, sheep, 80 1. OE. 

SChere, inf. purify, refine, 
165; pp. schorne, 213; 
see Note. 

scherej, pr. 3 5. cuts, 
cleaves, 107. OE. sceran. 

SChewe?, pr. 3 s. shows, 
1210; .pt. 3 s. scheued, 
692. OE. sceawian. 

SCho, see he. 

schon, see schynej. 

schqre, bank, 107, 230; 

cliff, 1 66 ; cp. OE. sco- 

ren, pp. of sceran, to cut ; 

' the part shorn off.' 
schorne, see schere. 
schot, pt. 3 s. shot, 58. OE. 

schowted, pt. 3 s. shouted, 

schrylle, adv. shrilly, re- 

splendently, 80. Cp. LG. 

schrell ; cp. schyr. 
schulde, see schal. 
schylde, inf. prevent, 965. 

OE. scildan. 
schyldere}, shoulders, 214. 

OE. sculdor. 
schym, bright, 1077. OE. 

scima, brightness. 
schymeryng, brightness, 80 ; 

cp. OE. scimrian. <* 
schynde, see schyne3. 
schyne?, pr. 3 s. shines, 

1074; 3 pi. 28; pt. 3 s. 

schon, 1 66, 213, 982, 

1018,1057; 3 pi. schjndef 

80. OE. scman. 
SChyr, bright, >pure, 28, 213, 

284; schyre, 42; comp. 

schyrrer, 982. OE. scir ; 

cp. schrylle. 
sclade, see slade. 
scrypture, n. writing, 1039. 

OF. escripture. 
se, inf. see, 96, 146, 296, 

675, 914, 964, 969; sene, 

45; pr. i s. se, 377, 385, 

932; 3 S. SO}, 32; 2 pi. 

subj. sy^e, 3 8 ; pt- I s - 

S63, 158, 175, 200, II55; 



seghe, 867; sa3, 1021, 

1147; 3736, 986, 1033; 

3 5. sy3, 788, 985, 1032; 

sa3, 689, 836; 863, 531; 

segh, 790; 2 pi. s[y]3, 

698; />/>. sen, 164; sene, 

194, 787, 1143. OE. 

sech, imp. s. seek, 354; 

pt. 3 5. S03te, 73; PP> 

S03t, sought, given, 518. 

OE. secan; cp. bysech. 
secounde, adj. second, 652, 

1002. OF. second. 
sede, n. seed, 34. OE. saed. 
segh, 863, see se. 
selden, seldom, 380. OE. 

self, adj. selfsame, very, 

203, 446; self[e], 1046, 

1076; used as n. ]>e hy36 

Gode3 self, 1054; cp. 

myself, ]>y self, hymself. 
sely, happy, 659. OE. 

semblaunt, face, expression, 

21 1 ; sembelaunt, 1143. 

OF. semblant. 
seme, modest, 1115; adv. 

becomingly, 190. ON. 

semed, pt. 3 s. subj. seemed, 

760. OE. seman, to 

satisfy; cp. ON. soema, to 

honour, befit ; cp. byseme. 
semly, adj. fair, 34, 45, 789. 

ON. scemiligr. 
sen, sene, see se. 
sende, pr. 3 s. subj. send, 

130. OE. sendan. 

sengeley, adv. apart, 8. OF. 

sengle, with E. suff. 
serlyp63, adv. used as adj. 

separate, 994. ON. ser; 

OE. liepig; cp. OE. an- 

sermoun, speech, 1185. OF. 

sertayn, certainly, 685. OF. 

seruaunt, servant, 699. OF. 

serue3, pr. 3 s. avails, 331; 

pp. serued, deserved, 553. 

OF. servir. 
sesed, pp. given seisin of, 

enfeoffed, dowered, 417. 

OF. seisir, saisir. 
set, pt. 3 s. sat, 1054; 

sete, 161 ; 3 pi. 

835. OE. sittan, saet, 

sete, inf. set, 1 20 1 ; pr. 2 

pi. setten, 307; imp. s. 

set, 545; pt. i s. sette, 

8 ; 3 s. subj. 52 ; ind. set, 

255, 811; pp. sette, 222, 

838 ; set, 1062. OE. settan; 

ON. setja. 
seuenpe, seventh, 1010. 

OE. seofofta. 
seuen, seven, 838, mi. 

OE. seofon. 
sexte, sixth, 1007. OE. 

seysoun, season, 39. OF. 

863, see se. 

Sir, 257, 439. OF. sire. 
skyfte, inf. arrange, ordain, 

22 4 


569. ON. skipta; OE. 

self tan. 
skyl, n. reason, 312; skylle, 

674 ; pi. skylle}, question 
ings, 54. ON. skil. 
slade, valley, 141 ; sclade, 

1148. OE. slaed. 
Sla3t, slaughter, 801. OE. 

sleaht; cp. slepyng-sla3te. 
slake, inf. abate, don to 

slake, brought to an end, 

942. OE. sleacian. 
slayn, pp. slain, 805. OE. 

slegen (from slean). 
slente, n. slope, hill-side, 

141 ; cp. Norw. slenta, to 

fall aside, slant. 
Slepe, pr. 3 pi. sleep, 115. 

OE. sljepan, slepan. 
Slepyng-sla3te, slumber- 
stroke, dead sleep, 59; 

cp. sla3t. 
slode, pt. i s. slid, 59. OE. 

slldan; cp. onslyde% 
Sly3t, adj. slight, 190; cp. 

MDu. slicht. 
smal, small, 6, 190; smale, 

90. OE. smael. 
smelle, n. 1122. Etym. 

smol>e, smooth, 6, 190. OE. 

smofte (commonly smeSe). 
SO, 2, 5, 6 etc.; thus, 97, 

338, 461, 467, 518, 522, 

553, 736, 1035, 1116, 

1165, 1 1 86; with subj. 

expressing wish, 487, 850. 

OE. swa. 
soberly, adv. seriously, 

gravely, 256. 

sobre, serious, earnest, 391, 

532. OF. sobre. 
SOdanly, suddenly, 1095, 

1098; sodenly, 1178. OF. 

sodain, sudain; ME. suff. 


softer, see suffer. 
S03t, S03te, see sech. 
solace, n. 130. OF. solaz. 
solde, pt. 3 5. sold, 731. 

OE. sellan. 

sommoun, summons, warn 
ing, 1098; cp. v. sumoun. 
sonde, n. sending, 943. OE. 

sand, sond. 
sone, soon, 537, 626, 

1197; early, 1078. OE. 

SOnge (i), n. song, 882, 888, 

891; sange, 19- OE. 

sang,song; c^.euen-songe. 
songe (2), songen, see 


sonne, see sunne. 
sore (i), adv. sorely, 550; 

SOr, 940. OE. sare. 
sore (2), n. sorrow, 130. OE. 

SOr?, sorrow, 663; sor36, 

352. OE. sorg. 
sorquydry^e, n. overweening, 

309. OF. surquiderie. 
soth, true, 482, 1185; soj>e, 

truth, 653. OE. so>; cp. 

sothfol, true, 498. OE. 

sop; suff. -ful. 
sotyle, thin, transparent, 

1050. OF. sutil, soutil. 
soun, voice, 532. OF. soun. 



sounande, pr. p. resounding, 

883. OF. soner, suner. 
Space, n. 61; place, 438. 

OF. espace. 
spakk, see speke. 
sparred, pt. i s. struck 

out, flung forward, 1169. 

( ?) OF. esparer, to spar 

(see Skeat). 
sp[e]ce, see spyce. 
speche, speech, saying, 37, 

235, 400, 471, 793, 1132; 

spech, 704. OE. spfec. 
special, unique, rare, 235; 

specyal, 938. OF. special. 
spede, pr. 3 s. subj. prosper, 

487. OE. spedan. 
speke, pr. i s. speak, 422; 

3 5. spek63, 594 ; pt- 3 s. 

speke, 43 8 ; spakk, 938; 

pp. spoken, 291. OE. 

spelle (i), pr. i s. relate, 

793. OE. spellian. 
spelle (2), n. speech, 363. 

OE. spell. 
spenn[e]d, pt. i s. clasped, 

49. ON. spenna. 
spent, pp. 1132. OE. 

[sphere, sphere, 735. OF. 

sponne, pt. 3 pi. subj. 

sprang, 35. OE. spinnan. 
spornande, pr.p. stumbling. 

363. OE. spornan, spur- 
spot, n. place, 25, 37, 49, 61 ; 

spote, 13; spot, blemish, 

12, 48, 60, 764 1068; 

spotte, 24, 36 ; pi. spotte^ 

945; cp. MDu. spotte; 

EFris. spot; ON. spotti. 
spotte;, spotless, 856. 
spotty, adj. 10 jo. 
sprang, see spryng. 
sprede, inf. spread, abound, 

25. OE. sprsedan. 
spryng, inf. spring, 453; 

pr. p. spry[n]gande, 35; 

pt. 3 5. sprang, 61; 

sprange, 13. OE. springan. 
spyce, n. kind, creature, 

938; sp[e]ce, 235; spyse, 

spice, 104; pi. spyce3, 35; 

spyS63, 25. OF. espice, 

spyryt, spirit, 61. OF. 

spyt, n. insult, 1138. OF. 

stable (i), adj. steadfast, 

597. OF. estable. 
stable (2), inf. stand firm, 

683. OF. establir. 
stage, n. state, condition, 

410. OF. estage. 
stale, n. step, ground-course, 

1002. OE. staela. 
stalked, pt. i s. walked 

cautiously, 152. OE. 

stalle, inf. hold, fix, 188. 

OE. steallian. 
stande, inf. stand, 514, 867; 

pr. 3 s. stande;, 547; 2 

pi. stande, 515; stonde, 

533; 3 pl> stonden, 113; 

pt. i s. stod, 182, 184, 

1085; 3 s. 1023; endured, 



597; pp> standen, 519, 

1148. OE. standan; cp. 

stare, inf. gaze, 149; pr. 3 

pi. staren, shine, 116. 

OE. starian. 
start, inf. start, plunge, 

1159, 1162 : prob. OE. 

* sty r tan ; cp. Du. storten ; 

G. stiirzen. 
stayre, adj. steep, 1022 : 

cp. LG. steger, steep; OE. 

stseger, stair. 
stele, inf. steal, 20. OE. 

stepe, adj. bright, shining, 

113. OE. steap. 
Step[pe], n. step, 683. OE. 


stere, inf. guide, 623; res 
train, 1159. OE. steoran. 
sterne?, stars, 115. ON. 

steuen, voice, sound, 1125; 

at steuen, within reach, 

188. OE. stefn. 
stode, support, stud, set 
ting, 740. OE. studu. 
stok, stock, stump of tree, 

380. OE. stoc. 
stoken, pp. barred, 1065 ; 

cp. OLG. stecan. 
ston, stone, gem, 206, 822, 

994, 1006; stok o>er ston, 

380; pi. stone?, 113, 997- 

OE. stan. 

stonde, stonden, see stande. 
Stonge, pt. 3 s. stung, 

pierced, 179. OE. stin- 


store, n. number, 847. OF. 

stote, inf. stumble, 149 : cp. 

MDu. stoten. 
stounde, hour, time, 20, 659. 

OE. stund. 
stout, proud, strong, 779; 

stoute, 935- OF. estout. 
strange, strange, 175. 

OF. estrange. 
strate?, see strete. 
stray, adv. astray, 179; cp. 

strayd, pt. 3 s. strayed, 

1173. OF. estraier. 
strayn, inf. guide, 691; 

streny, strain, 551; pr. 

3 s. strayn 63, constrains, 

128. OF. estraindre; cp. 

streche, inf, extend, on 

streche, rest upon, 843; 

strech, proceed, 971. OE. 

stre3t, adj. straight, direct, 

691. OE. streht, pp. of 

strem, . stream, 125, 1159, 

1162. OE. stream. 
stremande, pr. p. streaming, 

115: from strem; cp. 

ON. streyma. 
strenghjje, strength, 128. 

OE. strengSu. 
streny, see strayn. 
stresse, distress, 124. OF. 

destresse; cp. dystresse. 
strete, street, 971, 1059; pi. 

strete?, 1025; strate?, 

1043. OE. strset. 



strok, see stryke. 

stronde, bank, 152. OE. 

stronge, adj. strong, 531; 

adv. firmly, 476. OE. 

Strot, contention, 353, 848; 

cp. Dan. strutte, to strut. 
stroj>e-men, pi. strath-men, 

dalesmen, 115. Gael. 

strath, valley, country 

near a river; cp.mon (i). 
Stryf, strife, 248, 776, 848. 

OF. estrif. 
stryke, inf. go, 1125; pr. 2 

s. st[r]yke3, 1186; 3 s. 

stryke3, 570; pt. 3 s. 

strok, struck, 1180. OE. 


stryng, see sytole-stryng. 
stryuen, pr. 3 pi. strive, 

1199. OF. estriver. 
styf, adj. firm, 779. OE. 

stylle, adj. quiet, 20, 182, 

1085 ; adv. ever, 683. 

OE. stille. 
I styntf, imp. s. cease, 353. 

OE. styntan. 
I such, adj. 2.6, 407, 

1043,1099; such a, 176; 

suche, 58, 171 ; used as 

pvon. such, 727; suche, 

719. OE. swylc. 
SVC, inf. follow, 976; pr. 

3 pi. swe, 892. OF. suir. 
suffer, inf. 954 ; softer, 940 ; 

pp. suffred, 554- OF. 

soffrir, suffrir. 
suffyse, inf. be enough, 

suffice, 135. OF. suffire; 

sulpande, pr. p. polluting, 

726. Cp. G. dial, solpern. 
sum, pron. some, 428; of 

al & sum, entirely, 584; 

pi. summe, 508. OE. 

sumkyn, adj. some kind of, 

619; cp. kyn. 
sumoun, inf. summon, 539. 

OF. somoner; cp. som- 

sum-tyme, adv. at some 

time, 620, 760; cp. 

sunne, sun, 28, 519, 538, 

982, 1044, 1045, 1056, 

1057, 1076; sonne, 530. 

OE. sunne. 
sunne-berne;, sunbeams, 

83. OE. sunnebeam ; cp. 

supplantorei, supplanters, 

440. OF. supplantour. 
Sure, adj. 1089; adv. firmly, 

222.. OF. sur, seur. 
sute, n. fashion, 203 ; in sute, 

of the same pattern, 1 108. 

OF. suite. 
swalt, pt. 3 s. died, 816; pt. 

i s. subj. swalte, 1160. 

OE. sweltan. 
swange, pt. 3 s. rushed, 

IO 59I 3 pl> toiled, 586. 

OE. swingan. 
swangeande, pr. p. rushing 

in. (?) OE.* swangian; 

cp. OE. swengan. 
sware (i), adj. square, 837, 



1023; n. dimension, 1029. 

OF. esquarre. 
sware (2), inf. answer, 240. 

ON. svara ; cp. on-sware. 
swat, pt. 3 pl> sweated, 586. 

OE. swajtan. 
swe, see sve. 
swefte, see swyft. 
sweng, n. labour, 575. OE. 

swepe, inf. sweep, in. OE. 

* swsepan (not found). 
swete, sweet, 19, 94, 763, 

1122; sw[e]te, 829; used 

as n., 240, 325; adv. in, 

1057. OE. swete. 
swetely, sweetly, 717. OE. 

sweuen, sleep, dream, 62. 

OE. swefen. 
swone, n. swoon, 1180; 

cp. OE. swogan. 
swyft, adj. 571 ; adv. swefte, 

354. OE. swift, 
swymme, inf. swim, 1160. 

OE. swimman. 
swype, quickly, 354, 1059. 

OE. swISe. 
syde, n. 975, "37; pi- 

syde?, 6, 73, 198, 218. 

OE. side, 
sy?, sy3e, see se. 
sy3t, n. sight, 226, 839, 

952, 968, 1151; eyesight, 

985; [s]y?t, 1050; pi. 

syste^ 1179. OE. sih>. 
sykyng, pr. p. sighing, 1175. 

OE. sican. 
syluer, n. silver, 77. OE. 


sympelnesse, simplicity, 

909. OF. simple ; ME. 

suff. -nesse. 
symple, adj. 1134. OF. 


syn, see syj>en. 
synge, inf. sing, 891 ; pt. 

3 pi. songen, 94. 882, 888 ; 

songe, 1124. OE. singan. 
synglerty, uniqueness, 429. 

OF. senglierte. ; cp. syn- 

syngnette?, pi. seals, 838. 

OF. signet. 
syng[u]l[e]re, adj. alone, 

used as n. in syng[u]l[e]re, 

in uniqueness, 8. OF. 

singulier ; cp. synglerty. 
synne, n. sin, 610, 726, 811; 

pi. synne}, 823. OE. 

synne}, pv. 3 s. sins, 662. 

OE. syngian. 
Syon, 789, 868. 
syt, lamentation, 663. ON. 

sytole-stryng, citole-string, 

91. OF. citole; OE. 

sy)>en, adv. afterwards, 643, 

1207; conj. since, 13,245; 

syn, 519- OE. si]>j)an. 
, times, 1079. OE. 

tabelment, tier of ground- 

course, 994. 

table, tier, course, 1004. 
tached, pp. fastened, 464. 

OF. atachier. 



take, inf. 539, 552, 599, 
944, 1067, 1158; pr. 

2 pi. 387; 3 pl. take?, 
687; imp. s. take, 559; 
pt. 3 s. toke, 414, 808; 

3 pl. 585 ; Pp. taken for, 
considered as, 830; tan, 
614. ON. taka. 

tale, 257, 311, 590, 865, 

897, 998. OE. talu. 
tan, see take, 
tech, imp. s. direct, 936. 

OE. tsecan; cp. by- 
teche, n. stain, 845. OF. 

telle, inf. tell, 134, 653; 

pr. 2 s. telle?, 919; pt. 

3 s. tolde, uttered, 815. 

OE. tellan. 
temen, pr. i pl. are joined 

to, subserve, 460; cp. 

LG. tamen, temen, to fit. 
temple, 1062. OF. temple. 
tempte, inf. try, 903. OF. 

tender, adj. 412. OF. 

tene?, vexations, 332. OE. 

tenoun, n. tenon, joining, 

993. OF. tenon. 
tente, n. heed, 387. OF. 

atente; cp. myse-tente. 
tenl^e, tenth, 136, 1013. 

OE. teotfa; ON. tiundi. 
terme, n. end, 503; pl. 

terme?, words, 1053. 

OF. terme. 
that, the see }>at, I*. 

theme, n. subject, 944. OF. 
*teme; L. thema. 

then, thenne, this, thow, 
see penne (i), >ys, }>ou. 

throne, see trone. 

thys, see >is. 

to, adv. too, 2, 481, 492, 
615, 1070, 1075, 1076, 
1118; to ne fro, to or 
fro, 347; prep, i, 10, 
20, etc. ; forming ger. 22, 
45, etc.; for, 507, 638, 719, 
759. 79i; before, 700; 
on, 434; to hym warde, 
towards him, 820. 

to-drawe?, pr. 2 s. removest, 
280; cp. dra?, wyth-droj. 

togeder, together, 1121. 

to-36re, adv. for a long time, 
588. OE. to-geare; cp. 

to?t, adj. taut, firm, sure, 
522; (?) pp. of ME. 
to?en. OE. togian, to 
tow, pull; cp. OE. teon, 
to draw. 

toke, see take. 

token, n. 742. OE. tacen. 

tolde, see telle. 

torn, leisure, 134; toke 
more torn, had to wait 
longer, 585. ON. torn. 

tonge, tongue, 100, 898; 
tong[e], 225. OE. tunge. 

topasye, n. topaz, 1012. 
OF. topase; L. topazus, 
topazon, topazion. 

tor (i), adj. difficult, 1109. 
OE., ON. tor-, only as 

2 3 


tor (2), n. tower, citadel, 

966. OF. tur. 
to-rente, pp- torn asunder, 

1136; cp. rent, 
to-riuen, pp. torn away, 

1197. OE. to-; ON. rifa. 
tone?, tors, cloud-peaks, 

875. OE. tor. 
tot}, pr. 3 s. betakes him 
self, 513; pp. towen, 

drawn, 251. OE. teon. 
tou[c]h, inf. 714; pt. 3 s. 

towched, 898. OF. tou 

toun, town, 995. OE. tun. 
towarde, prep. 438, 1113; 

to-warde, 67, 974. OE. 

toweard ; cp. to, warde. 
towched, see touch, 
tras, path, 1113. OF. 


trauayle, n. labour, 1087. 
trauayled, pp. toiled, 550. 
traw, inf. believe, 487; pr. 

i 5. trowe, 933; 2 s. 

trawe?, 295; pt. i s. 

trawed, 282. OE. treo- 

trawjtt, justice, 495. OE. 

trendeled, pt. 35. rolled, 41. 

OE. trendlian. 
tres, trees, 1077. OE. treo. 
tresor, treasure, 331 ; tre- 

sore, worth, 237. OF. 

triys, ' truce,' peace, 755. 

OE. treow, pledge; ME. 

trew, pi. trews; cp. AF. 


trone (i), throne, 835, 920, 

1051, 1055; throne, 

1113. OF. trone; L. 

trone (2), pt. 3 pi. went, 

1113; cp. Sw. trina, tran. 
trowe, see traw. 
trwe, true, 421, 725, 822, 

1191; true, 311; trw, 

831 ; adv. trwe, 460. OE. 

treo we ; cp. vn-trwe. 
tryed, pp. brought to trial, 

707. OF. trier. 
[tryjeste, surest, 1015. OF. 

try^e, inf. trow, believe, 

311. OE. triewan. 
trylle, inf. quiver, 78; Sw. 

trilla, to twist. 
t[r]yste, adv. trustily, 460 

(see Note). 
twayned, pp. separated, 

251. OE. twegen, twain. 
twelf]>e, twelfth, 1015. OE. 

twelue, twelve, 992, 993. 

IO22, IO3O, 1035, 1078, 

1079. OE. twelf. 
two, 483, 555, 674, 949- OE. 

twye3, twice, 830. OE. twia 

+ -s. 
twynne,w.; in twynne, apart, 

251. OE. (ge)twinn. 
twynne-how, adj. of two 

colours, 1012; cp. hwe. 
ty36d, pp. tied, 464. OE. 

ty3t, inf. come, 718; pp. 

503. OE. tihtan. 



ty3tc, pt. 3 s. described, 
1053: PP> ty?t, 1013; 
(?) cp. OE. dihtan,to com 

tyl, cow/, till, 548, 976, 979 ; 
prep, tylle, to, 676. ON. 

tyme, n. 503, 833. OE. 
tima; cp. sum- tyme. 

tynde, n. branch, 78. OE. 

tyne, inf. lose, 332. ON. 

tyt, quickly, 645, 728. ON. 
tiSr, neut. titt; cp. as tyt. 

J>a3, cow;, though, 52, 55, 

134, etc. ; ]>03, 345- OE. 


J>are, see >er. 
j>at (i), cow/, that, 65, 137, 

185, etc. ; so that (effect), 

35. "9, 356, 1087; in 

order that, 471, 544. OE. 

]>at (2), def. art. the, 953, 

955; cp. fe (i). 
>at (3), pron. dent, that, 12, 

13, 14, etc.; that, 253, 

481, 937; fern. ace. sing. 

>0, 136; pi. 73. 8 5. 

109, 138, 451, 557, 

777. "79; J>ose, 93. 127; 

]>os, 515- 
>at (4), pron. rel. that, 15, 

17,37; b&Uat, 657, 658; 

J>a[t], 856, 892. 
J>ay, see he. 
jje (i), <fe/. art. the, 28, 67, 

69, etc.; the, 85, 109, 121, 

445, 541, 685, 1141; 

with comp. ]?e, 103, 127, 

128, etc.; the, 169; cp. 

>at (2). 

}>e (2), see jjou. 
>ede, land, 483. OE. >eod; 

c/>. are->ede. 

>ef, thief, 273. OE. >Sof. 
>en (i), adv., see jjenne 

)>en (2), cow;, than, 134, 

181, 212, etc.; ])enn, 

555. OE. ftaenne. 
]>enke, inf. think, 22 ; >enk, 

1151; pr. p. >enkande, 

370; pt. I S. Jtfjt, 137. 

1138, 1157. OE. J>encan. 

>enn, see >en (2). 

]>enne (i), arfu. then, 155, 
177, 213, etc.; thenne, 
361; >en, 277, 398, 494, 
etc.; then, 589. OE. 
Ssenne, Sanne. 

|>enne (2), adv. thence, 631, 
1094. OE. Sanon, 8a- 

>er, adv. there, 28, 47, 53, 
etc.; [j>er], 1117; l^ere, 
167, 194, 742, 942, 1155; 
>are, 830, 1021; >ore, 
562 ; as subj. of verb, 
}>er, 21, 113, 161, 493, 
657, 1107 ; cow/. where,26, 
30, 41, etc.; |>ere, 835, 
838. OE. &r, Sar. 

}>er-as, 129, 818, 1173. 

Derate, adv. there, 514. OE. 
Saer at. 

)>er-Iore, therefore, 1197. 

lier-inne, therein, 447, 644, 


724, 1061, 1168; j>ere- 

ine, 633. O.E. 5rinne. 
>er-of, thereof, 99, 161, 

410, 968, 1084; there 

from, 1069. OE. Sair of. 
>er-on, thereon, 1042 ; there 

of, 387. OE. Saeron. 
]>er-oute, out of doors, 930. 

OE. Scerut. 
J>er-to, thereto, 664, 833, 

1140; >erto, 172. OE. 

>ese, see }>ys. 

>ike, thickly, 78. OE. 

Jjicce; ON. J>ykkr. 
>is, >ise, see >ys. 
>0, see >at (3). 
>03, see ])&3. 
J>03te, n. thought, 524. OE. 


>03t, see ]>enke, J>ynk. 
>ole, inf. endure, 344. OE. 

>onc, n. thanks, 901. OE. 


>oo, then, 873. OE. Sa. 
>ore, see >er. 
>os, pose, see j>at (3). 
J>OU, pron. pers. nom. s. 

thou, 23, 242, 245, etc. ; 

>ow, 411; thow, 337; 

dat. ace. s. pe, 244, 263, 

266, etc. ; nom. pi. 36, 

290, 515, 516, etc.; dat. 

ace. yow, 470, 471, 524, 

928 : used for s., nom. 

36, 3<>7 3 8 > 371, etc.; 

dat. ace. yow, 287, 913, 

951. OE. 8u ; cp. J>y, your. 
^owsande, thousand, 786, 

869, 870; pi. }>owsande3, 

1107; >ousande3, 926. 

OE. jmsend. 
grange, closely, 17. ON. 

J>re, three, 291, 292, 1034. 

OE. |>reo. 
>rete, inf. complain, 561. 

OE. ]?reatian. 
j>ro, bold, impatient, 344 ; 

strong, 868. ON. }>rar. 
)>rowe3, pr. 3 s. whirls, hurls 

itself, 875. OE. J>rawan. 
J?rych, inf. press, 17; pp. 

J>ry3t, crowded together, 

926; brought forcibly, 

670; pierced, 706. OE. 

>rydde, third, 299 ; ]>ryd[de], 

1004; j>ryde, 833. OE. 

J*yf, inf. thrive, 851; pp. 

>ryuen, mighty, 868 ; 

wise, 1192. ON. J^rifa. 
J>ry3t, see >rych. 
fryuen, see jjryf. 
Bunder, ^.thunder, 875. OE. 

]>ur3, ^e/?. through, 10, 

114, 271, etc. OE. fturh. 
]>UT3-Outly, entirely, 859. 

OE. Surhut + -lice. 
>US, thus, 526, 569, 573, 

673, 677, 829. OE. 3us. 

J>y pron. poss. thy, 266, 

273. 275, etc.; >yn, 559, 

567, 754. OE. Sin. 

J>yder, thither, 723, 946. 

OE. Sider. 
>yn, see >y. 



yng, thing, 771, 1157; 
>ynge, 910; >ynk, 308, 
496, 587. OE. >ing. 

J>ynk, impers. v. seem; pr. 
267, 316, 552, 553, 590; 
pt. >0}t, 19, 153- OE. 

}>ys, pron. dem. this, 250, 
277, 297, etc.; >is, 65, 
260, 295, etc. ; thys, 841 ; 
this, 733; >ysse, 370; 
gen. s. >ise, 533 ', pi- }>ise, 
287, 384, 997, 1022, 1119; 
>yse, 555. 921, 931; )>is, 
42; >ese, 551, 752. OE. 
neut. Sis. 

}>y self, pron. reflex. 473; 
>yself, 779; J>y seluen, 
341 ; emphatic, )>y self, 
298,313. OE.SuSeself, 
Se selfum. 

pysse, see >ys. 

vayned, see wayne?. 

vch, adj. each, 31, 323, 

603, etc. ; vch a, 78, 375, 

436, etc.; vche, 5. 33, 

310, 839, 845; vche a, 

117, 217, 1066, 1080. 

OE. gehwilc. 
VChon, pron. each one, 450, 

54 6 . 595, 849, 1039; gen. 

vchone3, 863, 1103; cp. 

on (i). 

ueray, see veray. 
uesture, see under V. 
veiled, see weue. 
vmbe-gon, pp. hung round, 

210. OE. ymbe; cp. 


vmbe-py3te, pp. set round, 
204, 1052; cp. py3t. 

vn-a-vysed, adj. ill-advised, 
292. OE. un- + OF. 

vnblemyst, adj. unblem 
ished, 782. OF. blemir, 

vn-cort[a]yse, uncourteous, 
303; cp. cortayse. 

vnde-fylde, adj. undefiled, 
725. OF. defouler; OE. 
fylan; cp. fyl>e. 

vnder (i), n. forenoon, the 
time from 9 a.m. to 
midday, noon, 513. OE. 
undern; cp. Goth, un- 
daurni-mats, a morning 

vnder (2), prep, under, 923; 
cp. an-vnder. 

vnder-stonde, inf. under 
stand, 941; cp. stande. 

vn-hyde, inf. reveal, 973. 
OE. hydan. 

vnlapped, adj. unfolded, un 
bound, 214; cp. OE. 
laeppa, a loose fold ; hence 
ME. lappen, to wrap. 

vnmete, adj. unfit, 759 ; cp. 
mete (i). 

vnpynne, inf. unfasten, 728; 
cp. late OE. pinn. 

vnresoun-able, illogical, 590; 
cp. resnabelef. 

vnstrayned, adj. uncon 
strained, 248 ; cp. strayn. 

vnto, prep. 712, 718; 
vn-to, 1169; for, 772, 
1 2 12 ; on the part of, 362. 



vn-trwe, untrue, 897; cp. 


uoclied, see under V. 
vp, adv. up, 35, 177, 191, 

254, 434, 437, 506, 974. 

OE. up. 

vpen, vpon, see open. 
vpon, adv. thereon, 208; 

prep, upon, 57, 59, 370, 

824, etc.; vpone, 1054. 

OE. uppon. 
vr]>e, the earth, 442, 893, 

1125; er]?e, 840. OE. 

vr>ely, earthly, 135. OE. 

vt-wyth, adv. from outside, 

969. OE. ut + wij>. 
VUS, see I. 
vyf, vyue^, see wyf. 
uyne, see vyne. 

vale?, vales, 127. OF. val. 
vay4[e], inf. avail, 912. OF. 

vayn, adj. in vayn, at 

nought, 811; adv. in 

vayne, foolishly, 687. OF. 


vayned, see wayne}. 
veray, true, 1184; ueray, 

1185. OF. verai. 
verce, verse, 593. OF. vers. 
vere}, pr. 3 s. turns, 177; 

pt.$ s.vered,254. OF.virer. 
vergyne?, see vyrgyn. 
vergynte, virginity, 767. 

OF. verginite. 
Vertues, pi. Virtues, an 

order of angels, 1126. 

uesture, raiment, 220. OF. 


veued, see weue. 
vm-, vn-, vp-, vr-, vt-, see 

under U. 
UOChed, pp. summoned, 

1 121. OF. vochier; L. 

vus, see I. 
vyf, vyuc}, see wyf. 
vygour, n. power, 971. 

OF. vigur, vigor. 
vyne, vineyard, 504, 507, 

521, 525, 527, 535, 582, 

628 ; uyne, 502. OF. vine. 
vyrgyn, n. virgin, used as 

adj. 426; pi. yergyne?, 

1099. OF. virgine. 
vys, n. face, 750 ; vyse, 254. 

OF. vis. 
vysayge, v. visage, 178. 

OF. visage. 

wace, see be (i). 

wade, inf. 143, 1151. OE. 

wage, inf. endure, 416. 

OF. wager, to engage. 
wakned, pt. i s. awoke, 

1171. OE. wsecnan. 
wal, wall, 1017, 1026. OE. 

weall; cp. castel-walle. 
wale, inf. choose, point out, 

discern, 1000, 1007; cp. 

ON. val, choice. 
walk, inf. 399 ; pt. s. welke, 

101, 711. OE. wealcan, 

wallande, pr. p. bubbling, 

365. OE. weallan. 



walle, see castel-walle. 
walte, see wolde (i). 
wan, see wynne (2). 
wani[n]g, n. diminution, 

558. OE. warning. 
war, adj. aware, 1096. OE. 

warde, adv. to hym warde, 

towards him, 820; fro 

me warde, away from 

me, 981. OE. weard. 
ware, see be (i). 
warpe, inf. give forth, utter, 

879. ON. varpa, to 

wasch63, pr. 3 s. washes, 

6 555 pt> 3 s - wesch, 766. 

OE. waescan. 
wasse, see be (i). 
wate, see wot. 
water, n. 107, in, 122, etc. 

OE. waeter. 
wat3, see be (i). 
wawej, pi. waves, 287; cp. 

MLG. wage. 
wax, see wex. 
way (i), path, 350, 580; 

pl. waye3, 691. OE. 

way (2), adv. away, 718. 

Aphetic form of OE. on- 

weg, aweg; cp. away. 
wayne3, pr. 3 5. sends, 

grants, 131 ; pp. vayned, 

249. ON. vegna. 
wayted, pp. watched, held 

vigil, 14. OF. waiter. 
we, see I. 
webbe3, woven fabrics, 71. 

OE. webb. 

inf. wed, 772. OE. 

weddyng, n. 791. OE. wed- 

wede, n. dress, 748, 766, 

1112; pl. wede3, 1 102, 

1133. OE. wde. 
weete, see wete. 
wel, adj. 239, 1187; sup. 

best, 1131; beste, 279, 

863; adv. 164, 302, 411, 

505, 673; very, 537; 

much, 145, 148; comp. 

better, rather, 341. OE. 

wel ; cp. god. 
welcum, adj. welcome, 399. 

OE. wilcuma, n. one who 

comes pleasing ; ON. vel- 

kominn, pp. welcome. 
wele, weal, prosperity, joy, 

14, 133, 342, 394; pl. 

welC3, 154. OE. wela. 
welke, see walk, 
welkyn, n. 116. OE. 

wolcnu, pl. of wolcen, 

welle, n. 365, 649. OE. 

welnygh, adv. well-nigh, 

581 ; wel-ne3, 528. OE. 

welneah ; cp. ner. 
wely, blissful, 101. OE. 

wemle3, spotless, 737. OE. 

wemme, spot, fault, 221, 

1003. OE. wemman, to 

stain; n. wamm. 
wende (i), inf. go, 643, pt. i 

s. wente, 761 ; 3 s. went, 

2 3 6 


113; 3 pl> wente, 525. 
631. OE. wendan. 

wende (2), see wene. 

wene, inf. think out, ima 
gine, suppose, 1141 ; pr. i 
s. I wot & wene, I know 
full well, 47, 201 ; pt. 
i s. wende, supposed, 
1148. OE. wenan. 

went, wente, see wende (i). 

wer (i), pt. 3 s. wore, 205. 
OE. werian. 

wer (2), were, see be (i). 

werke, n. work, 599. OE. 

werkmen, pi. 507. OE. 

werle, n. attire, covering, 
209. ( ?) OE.* werels (cp. 
ON. vesl). 

wern, see be (i). 

wesch, see wasche?. 

westernays, ' widdishins, ' 
contrariwise, turned 
away, perversely, 307. 
OF. bes-torneis, so trans 
formed as to suggest 
' westerly.' 

wete, wet, 761; weete, 
1135. OE. wfet. 

we)>er, see whe]>er. 

weue, inf. come, 318; pp. 
veued, 976. OE. wsefan. 

weuen, pt. 3 pi. wove, 71. 
OE. wefan, waef. 

wex, pt. 3 s. grew, 538, 648 ; 
wax, flowed, 649. OE. 

whallej, gen. s. whale's, 212. 
OE. hwsel. 

wham, see quo (2). 

what, see quo. 

whate}, omens, fortunes, 

1041. OE. hwaet ; see 


when, see quen. 
where, see quere. 
whete, wheat, 32. OE. 

whe|>er, adv. nevertheless, 

581, 826; conj. subord. 

with o>er, whether . . . 

or, 130, 604; we>er, in 
troducing question, 565. 

OE. hwaBSer. 
who, see quo. 
why, adv. interr. 329, 338, 

515, 634; wy, 290, 533, 

564; quy, 561; inter j. 

why, 769. OE. hwy. 
whyle, adv. once on a time, 

15. OE. w.hwil ; c^.awhyle. 
whyt, whyte, see quyt. 
with, see wyth. 
wlonk, noble, beauteous, 

1171; wlonk[e], 122; 

wlonc, 903. OE. wlanc. 
wo, n. woe, 56, 154, 342. 

OE. wa. 
wod,forest,i22. OE. wudu ; 

cp. holte-wode^. 
wode, mad, 743. OE. wod. 
wod-schawe3, pi. groves, 

284. OE. sceaga. 
woghe, wickedness, 622. 

OE. woh. 

W036, wall, 1049. OE. wah. 
wolde (i), inf. possess, 812; 

pp. walte, held, 1156. 

OE. waldan. 



wolde (2), wolde3, see wyl (2). 
wolen, adj. woollen, 731. 

OE. wyllen. 

wolle, n. wool, 844. OE. wull. 
wommon, gen. pi. women's, 

236. OE. wifmann. 
won (i), n. dwelling-place, 

1049; pi. wone3, 917. 924, 

1027 ; to wone3, home, 32. 

OE. (ge)wuna; ON. vani. 
won (2), inf. dwell, 298, 315, 

644; won[e], 918; wony, 

284; pr. 3 s. wonys, 47; 

3 pi. wone3, 404. OE. 

wonde, inf. turn back, 153. 

OE. wandian. 

wonder, n. used as adj. won 
drous, 221, 1095. OE. 


wonne, see wynne (2). 
wont, adj. accustomed, 15; 

wonte, 172. OE. wunod, 

pp. of wunian. 
wonted, pt. 3 s. lacked, 215. 

ON. vanta. 

wony, wonys, see won (2). 
worchen, pr. 3 pi. work, 

511; imp. pi. wyrke3, 

536; pt. 3 5. wro3t, 748; 

wro3t[e], 825 5 wra3te, 

56; 3 pi. wr03t, 555, 631; 

wro3te, 525 ; wr03ten, 

622 ; pp. wr03t, 638, 824. 

OE. wyrcan. 
worde, word, 294 ; pi. wor- 

de?, 291, 307, 3M. 367, 

819. OE. word. 
wore, see be (i). 
worlde, world, 65, 424, 476, 

537, 579, 657, 743, 761, 
824; in worlde, at all, 
293. OE. weoruld, wor- 

worschyp, n. honour, 394, 
479. OE. weor)>scipe. 

worte3, pi. plants, 42. OE. 

WOF]>e (i), adj. worthy, 100; 
worth, 451. OE. weor)?, 

worj>e (2), pr. 3 s. subj. be, 
362; pp. worsen to, be 
come, 394. OE. weorSan. 

wor>ly, adj. noble, 1073; 
worthyly, 846; used as 
n. wor>yly, 47; adv. 
1133. OE. weorSHc; 
ON. verSuligr. 

wor>y, noble, 494; worth, 
616; cp. OE. wyrSig; 
ON. verftugr. 

[w]ose, wild man, 91 1 . OE. 

wost, see wot. 

wot, pr. i s. know, 47, 
201, 1107; wate, 502; 
2 s. wost, 411; woste, 
293; pt. i s. wyste, 65, 
376; 2 s. wyste3, 617. 
OE. witan. 

woj>e, n. open country, vch 
a W0>e, every place, 
375. OE. wa.J>, hunting- 
ground, place; cp. G. 

W0[>e], n. peril, 154; pi. 
W0>63, 151. ON. vaSi. 

wounde, n. wound, 650, 
1135, 1142. OE. wund. 


wra^te, see worehen. 
wrang, n. wrong, 631; 

wrange, 15. OE. wrang. 
wrange, adv. wrongly, 488; 

wrang, 614. 
wrathjje, n. wrath, 362. 

OE. wra3j)]x>; cp. wro>e. 
wreched, wretched, made 

miserable, 56. OE. 

wrecca, an outcast. 
writ, see wryt. 
WIO, n. corner, 866. ON. ra. 
wrojt, wro3ten, see wor 
wroken, pp. banished, 375. 

OE. wrecan, wraec, wre- 

Wro]>e, adj. wroth, 379. 

OE. wraj>; cp. wrath^e. 
wryt, writing, Scripture, 

592; writ, 997. OE.writ. 
wryte?, pr. 3 5. writes, 1033 ; 

pp. wryten, 834, 866, 871. 

OE. writan. 
wry^e, inf. turn, 350, 488; 

pr. 3 pi. wry>en, strain 

themselves, 511. OE . 

wy, see why. 

wyde, adj. 1135. OE. wld. 
wyf, wife, 846; vyf, 772; 

pi. vyue3, 7 8 5- OE. wif. 
wy3, n. person, 100, 131, 

722; pi. wy3C3, 71, 579- 

OE. wiga. 
wy3t, n. person, 338 ; wy3te, 

494. OE. wiht. 
wy3te, adj. active, brave, 

694. ON. adj. m. vigr, 

n. vlgt, in fighting form. 

wyl (i), conj. till, 528. OE. 

n. hwil. 
wyl (2), pr. i s. wish, 558; 

3 s. 350, 443, 965; 2 s. 

subj. 794 ; pt. (with pr. 

significance) i s. wolde, 

390, 910; 2 S. W0ld63, 

410; 3 s. wolde, 304, 451, 

488, 772, 1195; pi. 391, 

849; (with pt. signifi 
cance) i s. 977, 1155. 

OE. willan. 
wylle, n. will, 56, 131. OE. 

wylne3, pr. 2 s. wishest, 318. 

OE. wilnian. 

wyn, wine, 1209. OE. win. 
wynge3, pi. wings, 93. ON. 

vengr, vaengr. 
wynne (i), adj. winsome, 

154, 647. OE. wynn, 

joy; (?) ME. adj. from 

wynnum, joyfully. 
wynne (2), inf. win, 579, 

722 ; attain, 694 ; pt. i 5. 

wan, came, 107; pp. 

wonne, brought, 32 ; 

come, 517. OE. winnan, 

wann, wunnen. 
wynter, n. used as adj. 116. 

OE. winter. 
wyrde, fate, 249, 273. OE. 


wyrke3, see worehen. 
wys, adj. wise, 748. OE. 

wyschande, pr. p. desiring, 

14. OE. wyscan. 
wyse (i), n. manner, kind, 

101, 133, 1095. OE. wise. 



wyse (2), inf. appear, 1135. 
OE. wlsian. 

wyste, see wot. 

wyt, mind, understanding, 
903; wytte, 294. OE. 

wyth, prep, with, 40, 54, 74, 
etc; with, 200, 202, 837; 
by, 806. OE. wi>. 

wyth-dro}, pt. 3 s. withdrew, 
658; cp. dra3, to-drawe3. 

wyth-inne, adv. within, 102 7 ; 
prep. 440, 679, 966. OE. 

wyth-nay, imp. s. refuse, 
916. ON. nei, no; per 
haps withnay on analogy 
with denaien, OF. de- 
neier, to deny. 

wyth-outen, prep, without, 
12, 24, 36, etc.; wyth- 
oute, 644, 695. OE. 

wy>er-half, adj. the oppo 

site side of, 230. OE. 
wiser, contrary ; cp. half. 

ydel, adj. idle, 514, 515, 531, 

533. OE. Idel. 
y 3 e, n. eye, 302, 567, 1153; 

pi. y3en, 183, 254, 296; 

[ene], 200. OE. eage. 
yle, isle, detached or distant 

region, 693. OF. ile; L. 

ynde, Indian dye, indigo, 

76, 1016. OF. inde. 
yor, see your, 
yot, (?) got, 10. OE. gie- 

tan; cp. ME. for^eten. 
your, pron. poss. 257, 258, 

35, 306, 369, 389, 393, 

497, 924; yor, 761. OE. 

eower; cp. >ou. 
yow, see J>pu. 
Ysaye, Isaiah, 797, 819. 
yuore, n. ivory, 178. OF. 

ivoire ; AF. ivorie. 




OLYMPIA, the Latin text with an English 
rendering, edited by me, was printed by 
the Florence Press (Chatto & Windus) and 
published in 1913 to commemorate the six 
hundredth anniversary of Boccaccio's birth. 
The issue was limited to 550 copies. The 
present text and translation represent a revision 
of the 1913 edition. 

My interest in Boccaccio's OLYMPIA dates 
from 1904, when my dear friend the late 
Professor W. H . Schofield, of Harvard, reprinted 
from the Publications of the Modern Language 
Association of America, xix. I, an article on 
"The Nature and Fabric of the Pearl," in 
which he attempted to disprove the obvious 
autobiographical interpretation of the poem, 
and to maintain that its elegiac setting was 
a mere literary device for dealing with certain 
theological problems. 

An Appendix was added embodying supple 
mentary information concerning the source 
of the poem, in which Dr. Schofield stated 
that after his article had been printed his 
attention was directed by Dr. E. K. Rand, 


of Harvard, to Boccaccio's Eclogue. He 
proceeded to demonstrate the dependence 
of the English poem upon the Latin as 
its direct source, and somewhat strangely, 
instead of being induced by " the new fact " 
to modify his former contention, asserted 
that the undoubted elegiac reality of the 
alleged original actually confirmed his views 
as to the non-autobiographical character of 
"The Pearl." After comparing the two 
poems, he was, however, forced to admit that, 
in saying that the Eclogue was its source, 
he did not mean more than that it was the 
"starting-point of the author's conception." 
I do not propose on the present occasion to 
traverse the arguments. I was none the less 
grateful to Dr. Schofield, although after long 
study of the two poems I came to the con 
clusion that there was no definite evidence 
of any indebtedness on the part of the author 
of " Pearl " to Boccaccio's poem, and that 
such parallels as might be discovered in the two 
poems might be due to the poets' common 
knowledge, ideas, and belief. Moreover, in one 
striking instance the alleged similarity does not 
exist. " In both cases," it was pointed out, 
" the poet, grieving for a dead child, falls 
asleep on the ground in a leafy arbor ; " but 


" ex molli caespite recubans " indicates a soft 
pillow, and not the ground. With the 
dangers of parallelism before me, I attempted 
to consider the question independently ; for 
which purpose I found it necessary, in the 
first place, to prepare an adequate text of the 
Eclogue, and further, in order to understand 
it aright, to render it into English. 

The poem was included in collections of 
Latin Eclogues printed in Florence, 1504, 
and in Basle, 1546 ; and again in " Carmina 
Illustrium Poetarum Italorum," Florence, 
1719. All these texts are unsatisfactory, 
though the last is perhaps the best of them. 
To Dr. Oscar Hecker belongs the high dis 
tinction of having discovered what he has 
proved to be Boccaccio's autograph manuscript 
of the Eclogues, including " Olympia." His 
discovery is set forth in a remarkable volume, 
" Boccaccio-Funde," 1901, where among other 
treasures he prints from the precious volume 
in the Bibliotheca Riccardiana at Florence 
the text of " Olympia," letter for letter, in 
the poet's own orthography, minutely re 
producing the original. With the help of 
this text, I have been able to correct some 
bad errors in the 1719 text, which I have 
taken as the basis of the present edition. The 


spelling and punctuation have been normalised 
in accordance with modern usage. 

The extracts from Boccaccio's letters to 
Petrarch and Martin da Signa are from 
Corrazzi's " Le Lettere edite e inedite di 
Messer Giovanni Boccaccio," with some slight 

In addition to Dr. Hecker's work, the 
following investigations should be noted : 
Hortis, Studij sulle opere latine del Boc 
caccio, 1879; Zumbini, Le Ecloghe del 
Boccaccio, Giornale storico della lett. ital. 
vii ; Dobelli, II culto del Boccaccio per 
Dante, Giornale Dantesco, An. v, fasc. v, vi, 
vii ; Enrico Carrara, Un oltretomba Bucolico, 
1899 the last an interesting effort to explain 
allusions, proper names, and sources, with 
special reference to Dante. So far as diction 
is concerned, the poet's chief debt, directly 
and indirectly, is to Virgil. Whatever occa 
sional defects may be found in the Latinity 
of the poem are amply compensated by the 
all-pervading grace of sentiment and feeling. 

The date of "Olympia" is about 1361, 
some two or three years after the child's 
death at the age of five and a half. 

It is not known who is to be understood 
by Fusca, probably the child's mother. Asylas 


is evidently a reference to Boccaccio's father. 
By Mopsus Homer may perhaps be under 
stood ; Virgil by Tityrus ; Dante by Minci- 
ades, though the name primarily would suggest 
Virgil. Codrus, for Christ, in Olympia's 
Hymn, is explained by the Athenian king's 
self-sacrifice for his country's sake. Ischiros 
is the Greek 'lo^po?, strong, mighty. Simi 
larly, the form Parthenos, with the second 
vowel as lengthened, should be noted. Arce- 
silas is probably used in its etymological sense 
of " Chieftain." A gloss in the margin of the 
MS. gives " Lycos," that is, Wolf, the name 
of the dog, as from the Greek and equivalent 
to " albus." Therapon, the source of which the 
poet forgot, is evidently 0epa7rwi/, an attendant. 
" De Libano, sponsa, veni," the song Asylas 
invites Olympia to sing with him, from the 
fourth chapter of the Song of Songs : 

" Tota pulchra es, arnica mea, et macula non 

est in te. 
Veni de Libano, sponsa mea, veni de Libano, 

Coronaberis de capite Amana, de vertice 

Sanir et Hermon," etc., 

was perhaps suggested by Dante, Purgatorio 
xxx, ii : 


" ed un di loro, quasi da ciel messo, 
' Veni, sponsa, de Libano ' cantando 
Grido tre volte, e tutte gli altri appresso." 

The words, as the burden of a religious love- 
song, occur frequently in mediaeval literature. 
Their use in " Pearl " is very striking, though 
the situation is not parallel. In sentiment the 
two poems are indeed linked together ; and 
by way of illustrating this identity of spirit, 
however different the form, stanza LXIV may 
fittingly be noted. 

A like sorrow befell two poets, and each 
found solace in song. The one a pioneer 
of the Renaissance characteristically, under 
the influence of his great Italian Master, 
harmonised Virgilian form with Christian 
belief. The other a didactic English poet, 
far from the new literary currents bethought 
him of the Pearl of the Gospel, and found his 
inspiration in the visionary scenes of the New 
Jerusalem, coloured by mediaeval allegory. In 
his poem, " the river from the Throne " of 
the Apocalypse met " the waters of the wells," 
devised by Sir Mirth for the Garden of the 

In accordance with theological fancy, in 
each poem the transfigured child, grown in 
wisdom, appears as matured also in age, "joined 


in Eternal Spousal." No longer the children 
they were, they teach with bold authority 
lessons of resignation and the mystic properties 
of Heaven Pearl more particularly, who 
in her argumentative skill recalls the figure 
of Reason in the " Romaunt." Yet, at the 
same time, to the dreamer Pearl is still " my 
little queen," and, for all " her royal array," 
his treasure "small and sweetly slight." So, 
too, Olympiads voice and image are those 
of Violante "virguncula mea." The child 
angelic, matured in Heaven "for spousal fit" 
is still the child for dreamer and poet. In 
the Kingdom all are as children. And even 
to Dante, in the hour of his imperilled loyalty 
to her memory, Beatrice first appears "con 
quelle vestimenta sanguigne, colle quali apparve 
prima agli occhi miei, e pareami giovane in 
simile etade a quella, in che prima la vidi." 

OLYMPIAN ! From thy laurel that ne'er fades 
A tender leaf athwart our pathway falls, 
And, fragrant with sweet violet, recalls 
The dearest blossom in thy love-lit glades. 

Far from thy Roses, with desire imbrued, 

Far from thy Garden, where with wanton lays 

Plague-haunted dames and gallants sped their 

A floweret all too frail thy tears bedew'd. 

Not Fiammetta, but thy angel-child 

Led thee foot-sore the Hill-top to ascend, 

The high Olympus of the undefiled. 

There Beatrice on Violante smiled, 
And told of fair Eletta, thy child-friend, 
And played with Pleasant Pearl, so wise and 





Interlocuti sumus in hortulo tuo, assistentibus 
ex amicis nonnullis, consedimus ; ibi explic 
ation placidoque sermone, domum, libros et 
tua omnia obtulit, et quantum in ea fuit, 
matronali semper gravitate servata, sumpsissem. 
Inde has inter oblationes et ecce modestiori 
passu quam deceret aetatem Electa tua dilecta 
mea, et antequam me nosceret ridens aspexit. 
Quam ego non laetus tantum sed avidus ulnis 
suscepi. Primo intuitu virgunculam olim meam 
suspicatus. Quid dicam ? Si mihi non credis, 
Gulielmo Ravennati medico, et Donate nostro 
qui novere credito. Eadem, quae meae fuit, 
Electae tuae facies est, idem risus, eademque 
oculorum laetitia, gestus incessusque et eadem 




We sat chatting in your garden, and some of 
your friends who were there joined in the talk. 
Francesca most graciously pressed me to make 
myself at home, and proffered me your books 
and all your belongings all she had I was to 
consider mine ; but not for a moment did she 
forget the modest demeanour of the perfect 
wife. She was welcoming me, when, lo, there 
before me was your dear little Eletta, my little 
friend ! How gracefully she came along ! 
One could not have expected such grace in so 
young a child. Before she could know who 
I was, she smiled at me so sweetly. What joy 
was mine when I saw her ! What a hunger 
seized my heart as I held her in my arms ! 
At first I thought it was my own girlie the 
little maid once mine. Need I say more ? 
You'll hardly believe me. But ask Doctor 
William of Ravenna and our friend Donatus. 
They know. Your little Eletta is the very 
image of my lost one. She has the same laugh, 
the same joyous eyes, the same bearing and 


totius corpusculi habitude, quamquam gran- 
diuscula mea, eoque aetate esset provectior, 
quintum quippe jam annum attigerat et dimi- 
dium, dum ultimo illam vidi. Insuper si idem 
idioma fuisset, verba eadem erant atque sim- 
plicitas. Quid mula ! In nihilo differentes 
esse cognovi, nisi quia aurea caesaries tuae est, 
meae inter nigram rufamque fuit. Heu mihi ! 
quotiens dum hanc persaepe amplector, et suis 
delector collocutionibus, memoria subtractae 
mihi puellulae lacrimas ex oculis usque deduxit, 
quas demum in suspirium versas emisi, adver- 
tente nemine. 


Quarta decima Ecloga Olympia dicitur : Olym- 
pos graece, quod splendidum seu lucidum latine 
sonat, et inde caelum ; et ideo huic eclogae 
attributum est, quoniam in ea plurimum de 
qualitate caelestis regionis habeatur sermo. 
Collocutores quattuor sunt : Silvius, Camalus, 
Therapon, et Olympia. Pro Silvio me ipsum 
intellego, quern sic nuncupo eo quod in sylva 
quadam hujus eclogae primam cogitationem 
habuerim. Camalos graece, latine sonat hebes 
vel torpens, eo quod in eo demonstrentur mores 


gait ; she holds her dear little body just the 
same way. My girlie was perhaps slightly 
taller, but then she was older ; she was five 
and a half when I saw her last. Had their 
dialect been the same, they would have spoken 
the same words the same simple artless words. 
I can see no difference, except that Eletta's hair 
is golden, while my girlie's was chestnut brown. 
Ah me ! how often, while I fondled your little 
one, and listened to her sweet prattle, did the 
memory of the little daughter reft from me 
bring tears to my eyes ! How often, when no 
one observed, did I sigh away my tears ! 


This fourteenth Eclogue is called Olympia, 
from the Greek Olympos, signifying in Latin 
splendidus or lucidus, and so Heaven. Hence 
the name Olympia is given to this Eclogue, 
since much is told herein concerning the 
heavenly realm. The speakers are four in 
number : Silvius, Camalus, Therapon, and 
Olympia. By Silvius I mean myself, and so 
I name myself here, because the first thought 
of this Eclogue came to me in a wood. Cama 
lus is from a Greek word signifying hebes or 
torpens, that is, dull or sluggish a type of the 


torpentis servi. Therapon, hujus significatum 
non pono, quia non memini, nisi iterum re- 
visam librum, ex quo de caeteris sumpsi, et ideo 
ignoscas. Scis hominis memoriam labilem esse 
et potissime senum. Pro Olympia intellego 
parvulam filiam meam olim mortuam ea in 
aetate in qua morientes caelestes effici cives 
credimus : et ideo ex Violante dum viveret 
mortuam caelestem, id est Olympiam, voco. 



lazy servant. Of Therapon I am not giving 
you the meaning ; indeed I cannot recall it 
unless I refer to the book whence I took the 
rest. So please pardon me. You know how 
slippery is memory, and especially the memory 
of old men. By Olympia I mean my little 
daughter, who died at that age at which, as we 
believe, those who die become the citizens of 
heaven. And so for Violante, as she was named 
when living, I call her now Olympia the 






Si/v. Sentio, ni fallor, pueri, pia numina ruris 
Lsetari, et cantu volucrum nemus omne repleri. 
Itque reditque Lycos blando cum murmure ; 


Viderit ignore ; cauda testatur amicum. 
Ite igitur, jam clara dies difFunditur umbris 5 
Prxcantata diu ; quid sit perquirite, quidve 
Viderit inde Lycos noster, compertaque ferte. 
Cam. Dum nequit in somnum miserum com- 

ponere pectus, 

Imperat ex molli recubans heu cespite moestus 
Silvius, etnoctis pavidas lustrare tenebras 10 
Vult pueros longo fessos in luce labore. 

Si/v. Camale, dum primes terris prasstabit 


Nocturnes ignes, currus dum Delia fratris 
Ducet ad occasum, dum sternet cerva leones, 14 
Obsequium praestabit hero sine murmure servus. 




Silv. If I err not, the sylvan sprites rejoice. 
List, boys ! with song of birds the grove is filled. 
With gentle whine Wolf scampers to and fro ; 
something he sees ; as for a friend he wags. 
Bright day, long heralded, bestreaks the shades : 
go, seek ye what it is, and what good Wolf 
yonder has seen ; and quickly bring me word. 
Cam. Our master, when alack ! he cannot 


his aching heart to sleep, from downy bed 
gives orders, and poor we, toil-weary boys, 
what recketh he ? must forth and view dread 

Silv. In Western Ocean when the Dawn's 

first streak 

illumines Earth, when Delia westward leads 
her brother's team, when hinds o'er lions vaunt, 
a servant then perchance will do as bid. 


O Therapon, stabuli tu solve repagula nostri, 
Pone metum, videas catulus quid viderit, 

Ther. Festina, fac, surge senex ! Jam corripit 


Jam veteres quercus, et noctem lumine vincit ; 
Uritur omne nemus, fervens jam flamma penates 
Lambit, et occursu lucis perterritus intra 21 
Festinus redii. Lambit jam flamma penates ! 
Silv . Pastorum venerande Deus, Pan, deprecor 

adsis ! 

Et vos, o pueri, flammis occurrite lymphis. 
Siste parum, Therapon, paulum consiste. Quid 

istud ? 25 

Quid video ? sanusne satis sum ? dormio forsan. 
Non facio ! Lux ista quidem, non flamma vel 


Nonne vides laetas frondes corylosque virentes 
Luminis in medio, validas ac undique fagos 
Intactas ? Immo, nee nos malus ardor adurit. 30 
Ther. Si spectes coelo testantur sidera noctem, 
In silvis lux alma diem. Quid grande paratur ? 
Silv. Sic natura vices variat, noctemque 

Explicuit mixtos terris ; nee lumina Phcebae 


But, Therapon, do thou unbar the door ! 
Fear not ; see thou, I pray, what Wolf has 

Ther. Haste, sir, arise, come forth ! Our 

ancient oaks 

are all by fire possessed ; light conquers night, 
the grove is all a-glow ; fierce flames now lap 
the very gods within. Awed by the sight, 
1 hied me thence. The flames the gods now lap ! 
Silv. Pan, holy God of shepherds, be my help ! 
Go ye, my boys, with water face the flames. 
Stay, Therapon ! stay here awhile. What is't ? 
What see I ? Am I sane ? Perchance I sleep : 
Nay, yonder light, it is nor flame nor fire. 
Seest not the branches fair, the hazels green 
amid the glow, the beech-trees all about 
inviolate ? Here burns no evil heat. 

Ther. Look skyward ! spangled stars betoken 

Daylight the wood illumes. What wonder 

next ? 
Silv. So Nature marks her changes ; day and 

commingled she displays. But here I see 


Nee Solis radios cerno. Non sends odores 35 
Insolitos silvis, nemus hoc si forte Sabaeum 
Fecisset natura parens ? Quos inde recentes 
Nox peperit flores ? Quos insuper audio cantus ? 
Haec superos ambire locos et pascua signant. 


O/y m. Salve dulce decus nostrum, pater optime, 
salve ! 40 

Ne timeas, sum nata tibi. Quid lumina flectis ? 
Silv. Nescio num vigilem, fateor, seu somnia 


Nam coram genitae voces et dulcis imago 
Stant equidem ; timeo falli, quia sxpe per 


Illusere dei stolidos ; nos claustra petamus ! 45 
Olym. Silvi, quid dubitas ? an credis, Olym- 

pia patrem 

Ludat, et in lucem sese sine numine divum 
Praebeat ? Hue veni lacrimas demptura dolentes. 
Silv. Agnosco, nee fallit amor, nee somnia 


O nimium dilecta mihi, spes unica patris, 50 
Quis te, nata, deus tenuit ? Te Fusca ferebat, 


nor Phoebe's beams nor Sol's. Rare fragrances 
feel'st not, as if Dame Nature here had made 
a grove of Araby ? What flowers fresh 
has Night brought forth ? What strains hear I 

above ? 
God-haunted spots and pastures these things 



Olym. Hail, chiefest glory, dearest father, 


Fear not, I am thy daughter. Why this look ? 
Silv. I' faith, I know not, do I wake or 

dream ! 

My child's voice hear I, and her image sweet 
stands here before me. Fool ! Too oft the gods 
with shadows trick dull mortals. Let us home ! 
Olym. Silvius, doubt not ! think'st thou 


would mock her father, or herself reveal 
against God's will ? To dry thy tears I come. 
Silv. Now know I, 'tis no trick of love or 


O too beloved ! thy father's dearest hope ! 
What god restrained thee, child ? Me Fusca 


Chalcidicos colles, et pascua lata Vesevi 
Dum petii, raptam nobis, Cybelisque sacrato 
Absconsam gremio, nee post base posse videri. 
Quod credens, moerensque miser, mea virgo, per 

altos 55 

Te monies, umbrasque graves, saltusque remotos 
Ingemui flevique diu, multumque vocavi. 
Sed tu, si mereor, resera quibus, obsecro, lustris 
Te tenuit tarn longa dies ? Die munere cujus 
Intertexta auro vestis tibi Candida flavo ? 60 
Quae tibi lux oculis olim non visa refulget ? 
Qui comites ? Mirum, quam grandis facta 


In paucis ! Matura viro mihi, nata, videris. 
Olym. Exuvias quas ipse mihi, venerande, 


Ingenti gremio servat Berecynthia mater. 65 
Has vestes formamque dedit, faciemque coruscam 
Parthenos, secumque fui. Sed respice, numquid 
Videris hos usquam comites ; vidisse juvabit ! 
Silv. Non memini vidisse quidem, nee pul- 

chrior, inquam, 69 

His Narcissus erat, non talis denique Daphnis, 
Qui Dryadum spes laeta fuit, non pulcher Alexis ! 
Olym. Non Marium Julumque tuos dulcesque 

Noscis, et egregios vultus ? Tua pulchra pro- 

pago est ! 


that, whilst I journey' d to Campania's hills, 
Vesuvian pastures, thou from us wast reft, 
and, hid in sacred soil, wast lost to sight. 
Thinking 'twas so, in misery I mourn'd ; 
I wailed thee,daughter mine,on mountain heights, 
in woods and far-off glades, and call'd thee oft. 
But me, if I be worthy, tell what haunts 
have held thee this long day. Who gave to thee 
thy robe so white, entwined with yellow gold ? 
What light shines in thine eyes, ne'er seen 

before ? 
Thy comrades who ? Wondrous, how grown 

art thou 

in so brief time ! Thou seem'st for spousal fit. 
Olym. The vestments, sire, which thou to me 

didst give, 

Great Mother Earth holds in her mighty lap. 
These robes, this form, this glorious beauty, 

heavenly bright 

the Virgin gave ; with Her I was. But, lo, 
my comrades hast ne'er seen before ? Rejoice ! 
Silv . I call them not to mind. More beaute 
ous sure 

was not Narcissus, nor was Daphnis such, 
the wood-nymphs' darling, nor Alexis fair ! 
Olym. Know'st thou thy Marius not, thy 

Julus, too, 
and these sweet sisters mine ? Thy dear ones all ! 


Si/v. Abstulit effigies notas lanugine malas 74 
Umbratas vidisse. Meis jam jungite dextras, 
Amplexusque meos ac oscula laeta venite 
Ut prasstem, satiemque animam ! Quas, Pan, 

tibi laudes, 

Quas, Silvane, canam ? Pueri, nudate palaestras, 
Et ludos agitotc patrum. Stent munera fagis 
Victorum suspensa sacris, paterasque parate 80 
Spumantes vino ; laetum cantate Lyaeum, 
Et sertis ornate lares ; altaria surgant 
Caespite gramineo ; Triviae mactate bidentem 
Candidulam, Noctique piae sic caedite fulvam. 84 
Fer calamos pueris, Therapon, fer serta puellis. 
Olym. Sunt, Silvi, calami, sunt serta decentia 

nobis ; 

Et si tanta tibi cura est deducere festum, 
Ignotos silvis modules cantabimus istis. 

Silv. Immo, silva silet, tacitus nunc defluit 

Et silet omnis ager, pueri, vos atque silete. 90 

Olym. Vivimus csternum mentis et numine 


Silv. The sight of cheeks down-shaded reft 

from me 

the faces that I know. Now join we hands ; 
come ye to my embrace and kisses glad, 
and let me sate my soul. Thy praises, Pan, 
how shall I sing, and thine, 'Sylvanus ? Boys, 
strip you for wrestling ; lead our ancient 

games ! 

From sacred beeches hang the victor's meeds ! 
Let beakers foam ; and jocund Bacchus laud ! 
With garlands deck the gods ; with grassy turf 
heap high their altars. To Diana slay 
a heifer white ; to Night a tawny beast ! 
Reeds for the lads, good youth ; for lasses 

wreaths ! 
Olym. Reeds, Silvius, have we here, and 

goodly wreaths ; 

and, if so please thee festal cheer to stir, 
strains will we chant these woods have never 

Silv . Hushed is the wood ; Arno flows 

silently ; 
hush'd are the fields ; and hushed be yc, my 


Olym. " Endless our life by Codrus* grace 
divine ! 


Aurea qui nuper celso demissus Olympo 
Parthenu in gremium, revocavit sgecula terris ; 
Turpia pastorum passus convitia, cedro 
Affixus, letho concessit sponte triumphum. 95 
Vivimus teternum mentis et numine Codrl. 
Sic priscas sordes, morbos, scabiemque vetustam 
Infecti pecoris prseclaro sanguine lavit. 
Hincque petens valles Plutarchi ssepta refrinxit, 
In solem retrahens pecudes, armentaque patrum : 
Vivimus sternum mentis et numine Codri. i o i 
Morte hinc prostrata, campos reseravit odoros 
Elysii, sacrumque gregem deduxit in hortos 
Mellifluos, victor lauro quercuque refulgens, 
Optandasque dedit nobis per saecula sedes : 105 
Vivimus eeternum mentis et numine Codri. 
Exuvias in fine sibi pecus omne resumet ; 
Ipse, iterum veniens, capros distinguet ab agnis, 
Hosque feris linquet, componet sedibus illas 
Perpetuis cceloque novo post tempora claudet. 
Vivimus sternum mentis et numine Codri. 1 1 1 

Silv. Sentis, quam stulti Latios cantare putamus 
Pastores calamis perdentes tempora yocum ? 
Mxnalios vidi juvenes per dorsa Lycaei, 


He, sent of late from high Olympus down 

into the Maid, the Golden Age recalled ; 

shepherds' vile scorn He dreed, on cedar hung ; 

a triumph gave He Death, of His free will. 

Endless our life by Codrus* grace divine ! 

So from the blemished sheep He washed old 

old maladies and sores, with His bright blood ; 

then sought He Pluto's dales, broke up his folds, 

and brought to light the Father's flocks and herds. 

Endless our life by Codrus' grace divine ! 

Death slain, Elysium's fragrant fields He oped ; 

to gardens honey-sweet His host He led, 

Victor all- bright with laurel and with oak, 

and gave us evermore the wish'd-for homes. 

Endless our life by Codrus' grace divine. 

At doomsday, when their slough all kinds re 

He comes again, to part the lambs from goats, 

these to wild beasts, to Thrones eternal those : 

anon a heaven new will compass them. 

Endless our life by Codrus'* grace divine" 

Silv. What fools be we, to think that Latin 


can pipe and sing ! Their notes are out of time. 
Arcadian youths upon their mountain-slopes, 


Threicium et vatem solitum deducere cautes 
Carmine, nee quemquam possum concedere tanti, 
Ut similem natis faciam. Quae guttura ? quas 

vox ? 117 

Quis concentus erat ? stipulis quis denique flatus ? 
Non equidem nemoris custos regina canori 
Calliopes, non ipse Deus, qui prassidet antro 
Gorgoneo, aequiparet ! Flexere cacumina 

quercus, 1 2 1 

Et tenues nymphae tacitos petiere regressus 
In lucem ; mansere lupi, catulique tacentes. 
* Praeterea, o juvenes, sensistis carminis hujus 
Coelestes sensus ? Numquam mihi Tityrus olim 
Cantavit similes, senior nee Mopsus apricis 126 
Parrhasius silvis. Sanctum et memorabile totum 


Virginibus niveas dentur, mea cura, columbae ; 
Ast pueris fortes dederat quos Ischiros arcus. 
Olym. Sint tua, nil fertur quod sit mortale 

per oras 

Quas dites colimus ; renuunt asterna caducum ! 
Silv. Quas oras, mea nata, refers ? Quas, 

deprecor, oras ? 132 

Nos omnes teget ilia domus, somnosque quietos 


the Thracian sire who with his song drew rocks, 
all have I known ; yet none so high I hold 
as like unto these youths. What throats ! what 

tones ! 

what harmony ! What music from their reeds ! 
The Sov'ran Guardian of the tuneful grove, 
Calliope, nor e'en the God who rules 
o'er Helicon, could vie ! The oaks bent low, 
and tender wood-nymphs sought the silent 

unto the light ; yea, wolves and hounds stood 

Tell me, ye youths, caught ye the heavenly 


of yon sweet strain ? Ne'er Tityrus sang so, 
nor aged Mopsus in his sunny wood. 
Sacred it is, to be remembered aye ! 
Unto the maids, from me, give snow-white 

doves ; 
unto the lads strong bows from Ischiros ! 

O/ym. Hold thou them ! To the glorious 

climes we haunt 
nought mortal comes. Immortals shun things 

Silv . What climes ? oh, daughter mine, 

what climes, I pray ? 
Yon roof us all will cover ; quiet sleep 


Herba dabit viridis, csespesque sub ilice mensam. 
Vitreus is large praestabit pocula rivus, 1 3 5 

Castaneas mites, et poma recentia nobis 
Rustica silva feret, teneros grex fertilis hxdos, 
Lacque simul pressum. Quas ergo exquiritis 

oras ? 
Olym. Non tibi, care pater, dixi, Berecynthia 


Exuvias gremio servat, quas ipse dedisti ? 140 
Non sum quae fueram dum tecum parvula vixi ; 
Nam numero sum juncta deum ; me pulcher 


Expectat, comitesque meos. Stat vertere gressus 
In patriam. Tu vive, pater dulcissime, felix ! 
Silv. Heu ! moriar lacrimans, miserum si nata 

relinquis. 145 

Olym. Pone, precor, luctus; credisne refringere 


Nunc lacrimis ? Omnes silvis quotcumque creati 
Nascimur in mortem ; feci quod tu quoque, Silvi, 
Post facies. Noli, quasso, lacerare deorum 
Invidia seternos annos. Tibi crede quietem 1 50 
Post funus, laudesque pias mi reddito coelo, 
Quod moriens fugi mortem, nemorumque labores. 
Separor ad tempus, post haec me quippe videbis ; 


green sward will give; a turf 'neath oak our 

board ; 

the crystal brook our fount of richest draughts ; 
and our wild woodlands chestnuts ripe will bring, 
and apples fresh ; our fruitful herd young kids 
and cheese. What other climes, then, would 

ye seek ? 
Olym. Have I not told thee, father dear, that 

the trappings keeps that thou to me didst 


I am not what I was, the child thou knewest ; 
now am I numbered with the god-like throng. 
Me fair Olympus calls, my comrades eke ; 
homeward we turn. Sweet father mine, fare 
well ! 
Silv. Leav'st thou me wretched thus, I weep 

to death. 
Olym. Away with grief ! Think'st thou to 

burst thy fate 

with tears ? As many as created be, 
we all are born for death. I have but done 
what thou shalt do. Rate not with spleen, I 


the gods' eternal years. Trow peace is thine 
hereafter ; render praise to Heav'n for me, 
that, dying, I 'scaped death and toils below. 
Awhile apart, sure thou wilt see me soon, 


Perpetuosque trahes mecum feliciter annos. 
Silv. In lacrimis oculos fundam, tristemque 
senectam ! 155 

Heu, quibus in silvis post anxia fata requiram 
Te profugam, ex nostris bis raptam viribus ulnis ? 
Otym. Elysium repeto, quod tu scansurus es 

Silv. Elysium, memini, quondam cantare 


Minciades stipula, qua nemo doctior usquam. 1 60 
Estne, quod ille canit, vestrum ? Didicisse 

O/ym. Senserat ille quidem vi mentis grandia 


Ac in parte loci faciem, sed pauca canebat, 
Si videas, quam multa tenet,quam pulchra piorum 
Elysium sedesque deum gratissima nostrum. 165 
Silv. Quos tenet iste locus montes ? Quibus 

insitus oris ? 

Quae non Minciades vidit, seu sponte reliquit, 
Da nobis. Audire fuit persaepe laborum 
Utile solamen ; veniet mens forte videndi. 1 69 
O/ym. Est in secessu pecori mons invius aegro, 
Lumine perpetuo clarus, quo primus ab imis 
Insurgit terris Phoebus, cui vertice summo 
Silva sedet palmas tollens ad sidera celsas, 
Et laetas pariter lauros, cedrosque perennes, 


and lead with me in bliss unending years. 
Silv. Mine eyes will waste with tears, mine 

age will pine. 

After life's woes in what wood shall I seek 
thee, fleeing hence, twice reft from these mine 

arms ? 

Olym. Elysium I seek, where thou wilt come. 
Silv. Elysium ! The Mantuan bard, me- 

sang once and piped thereof; was none more 


Is thine the spot he sang ? Fain would I learn. 
Olym. His mighty mind, indeed, some glories 


some beauties of the place ; he sang but few 
of all the many joys Elysium holds, 
home of the blest, our Gods' most fair abode ! 
Silv. What mountains hath it? in what regions 


What he saw not, or what he left unsung, 
tell me ! To hear was oft sweet balm for toil. 
Perchance the soul will yearn those sights to see. 
Olym. Remote, beyond the reach of sickly 


bright with perpetual light, a mountain rears ; 
there Phoebus first, from Earth below, ascends; 
on topmost peak a wood, with towering palms, 
with festal laurels, cedars ever-green, 


Palladia ac oleas optatas pacis arnicas. 175 

Quis queat hinc varies flores, quis posset odores 
Quos lenis fert aura loco, quis dicere rivos 
Argenta similes, mira scaturigine circum 
Omnia rorantes, lepido cum murmure flexus 
Arbustis mixtos nunc hinc nunc inde trahentes ? 
Hesperidum potiora locus fert aurea poma. 1 8 1 
Sunt auro volucres pictse, sunt cornibus aureis 
Capreoli et mites damae, sunt insuper agnae 
Velleribus niveis, claro rutilantibus auro ; 
Suntque boves, taurique simul, pinguesque 

juvencae 185 

Insignes omnes auro, mitesque leones, 
Crinibus et mites gryphes radiantibus auro : 
Aureus est nobis sol, ac argentea luna ; 
Et majora quidem quam vobis sidera fulgent. 
Ver ibi perpetuum, nullis offenditur austris, 1 90 
Laetaque temperies loca possidet, exulat inde 
Terrestris nebula et nox et discordia rerum ; 
Mors ibi nulla manet gregibus, non aegra senec- 


Atque graves absunt curae maciesque dolorque. 
Sponte sua veniunt cunctis optata. Quid ultra ? 


peace-loving olive-trees, to Pallas dear. 

Who could describe the many flowers ? the 

the zephyrs waft ? and who the silvery 


their wondrous waters sprinkling all about, 
meandering here and there with murmur sweet, 
and drawing in their course full many a bough ? 
Such golden fruit th* Hesperides ne'er saw ; 
gold-hued are birds there; and gold -horned 


and gentle deer ; moreover, lambs are there 
whose snowy fleeces gleam with brightest gold ; 
and oxen, too, and bulls, and fatted cows, 
resplendent all with gold ; yea, lions tame, 
and griffins tame, their manes with gold all 


Golden our sun, and silvern is our moon ; 
grander than yours the stars that shine on us. 
'Tis ever Spring ; no southern gale strikes there ; 
a joyous calm the place pervades. Earth's 

and Night, all things that jar, are banished 


Death comes not to the flocks, nor ailing Age ; 
and far are grievous cares, and want, and grief. 
Things wished for freely come to all. What 

more ? 


Dulcisono resonat cantu mitissimus aer. 196 
Silv . Mira refers, sanctamque puto sedemque 

Quam memoras silvam. Sed quisnam praesidet 

illi ? 

Et comites, mea nata, refer, ritusque locorum. 
Olym. Hac in gramineo summo sedetaggere 

grandis 200 

Arcesilas, servatque greges, et temperat orbes, 
Cujus enim si forte velis describere vultus, 
Incassum facies ; nequeunt comprendere 


Est alacer, pulcherque nimis, totusque serenus, 
Hujus et in gremio jacet agnus candidus, ex quo 
Silvicolis gratus cibus est, et vescimur illo. 206 
Inde salus venit nobis, et vita renatis. 
Ex his ambobus pariter sic evolat ignis, 
Ut mirum credas ; hoc lumen ad omnia confert, 
Solatur mcestos, et mentis lumina purgat, 210 
Consilium miseris praestat, viresque cadentum 
Instaurat, dulcesque animis infundit amores. 
Stat Satyrum longreva cohors, hinc undique 


Omnis cana quidem, roseis ornata coronis, 
Et cytharis agni laudes et carmine cantat. 2 1 5 
Purpureus post ordo virum venerabilis, inquam, 
Et viridi cunctis cinguntur tempora lauro. 
Hi cecinere Deum stipulis per compita verum. 


The air, so soft, with sweet-toned song re 
Silv. Marvels thou tell'st ! Sure, sacred is 

that wood, 

the Gods' abode ! But who o'errules it, say ; 
who dwell therein, and what the usages ? 

Olym. High, on a grassy mound, in glory sits 
Arcesilas, shepherding flocks and worlds. 
But, verily, would'st thou His aspect know, 
it were in vain ; the mind this cannot grasp. 
All life is He, too fair, wholly serene ; 
and in His bosom rests a Lamb, milk-white, 
sweet sustenance for folk, whereby we live ; 
thence comes our weal, and life to those re-born. 
And from Them both alike there flames a fire, 
wondrous to trow ! To all things spreads that 

light : 

the sad it comforts, purges the mind's eye, 
counsels the wretched, strengthens those that fall, 
with sweetest love informs the souls of men. 
An aged band of Satyrs, suppliant, 
their hoary locks with rosy chaplets crowned, 
stand there ; with lute and song the Lamb 

they praise. 

And then the Purple Order, well revered, 
their temples all engirt with laurel green. 
At cross-roads these with pipes the true God 


Et forti S9EVOS ammo vicere labores. 

Agmen adest niveum post hos, cui lilia frontes 

Circumdant, huic juncta cohors tua pulchra ma- 

nemus 221 

Natorum. Crocei sequitur post ordo coloris 
Inclitus ; et magno fulgens splendore, sonora 
Voce deum laudes cantat, regique ministrat. 
Quos inter placido vultu cantabat Asylas, 225 
Dum silvis assumpta prius sum monte levatis. 
Silv. Ergo, precor, noster montem conscendit 


Emeruit, nam mitis erat, fideique vetustge 
Praeclarum specimen. Faciat Deus ipse re- 

visam ! 
Sed die ; tene, precor, novit, dum culmen 

adires ? 230 

Olym. Immo equidem applaudens injecit bra- 

chia collo ; 

Et postquam amplexus laetos ac oscula centum 
Impressit fronti, multis comitantibus, inquit, 
* Venisti, o nostri soboles carissima Silvi ? 
De Libanoy nunc, sponsa veni sacrosque hymenasos 
Cantemus, matremque viri mea neptis honora.' 
Meque trahens,genibus flexis,quo pulchra sedebat 
Parthenos posuit. Lseta haec suscepit in ulnis 
Ancillam, dixitque pie : " Mea filia nostris 
Ecce choris jungere piis, sponsique frueris 240 
^Eternis thalamis, et semper Olympia coelo 


and, strong of soul, they conquered cruel 

Then come the Snow-white Host ; lilies their 


enwreathe. To these is joined our little band, 
thy children fair. The Saffron Order next, 
illustrious, resplendent, with loud voice 
sing praises of the Gods, and serve the King. 
'Mong these Asylas sang ; how calm his look, 
when first the mount received me from the woods ! 
Silv. Did my Asylas then ascend the mount ? 
Worthy was he, gentle, of ancient faith 
a noble type. God grant we meet again ! 
But knew he thee, when to the heights thou 

earnest ? 
Olym. Gleeful, he threw his arms about my 


kissed me a hundred times, embrac'd me oft ; 
and then, a mighty concourse with him, said : 
" Hast come, my Silvius' beloved child ? 
1 Come hither, love,' and Hymen's holy lays 
sing we ; and Manhood's Mother honour thou !" 
Then me he led, and down I knelt where sat 
the Virgin beauteous. Joyful She clasped 
Her maid, and kindly spake : " Now, daughter 


enter Our blissful choirs ; thou shalt enjoy 
eternal Spousal, as Olympia 


Quae fueras terris Violantes inclita fies." 
Inque dedit vestes quas cernis. Si tibi narrem 
Quos cantus tune silva dedit, quos fistula versus 
Pastoris lyrici, credes vix. Omne per antrum 
Insonuit carmen mentis, tantusque refulsit 246 
Ignis, ut exuri dixisses omnia flammis, 
Et totum rosei cecidere per ae'ra flores. 

Silv. Quae sit Parthenos nobis super adde, pre- 

Olym. Alma Jovis genitrix haec est, et filia 

nati, 250 

Splendens aula deum, coeli decus, inscia noctis. 
jEthereum sidus, pastorum certa salutis 
Spes, custosque gregum, requiesque optata labo- 

Hanc fauni nymphaeque colunt, hanc grandis 


Laudibus extollit cythara, dominamque fatetur. 
Quae residens solio patris veneranda vetusti, 256 
A dextris geniti, tanto splendore refulget, 
Ut facie silvam, montem, collesque polosque 
Laetificet Formosa nimis. Cui Candida circum 
Agmina cygnorum volitant, matremque salu- 

tant, 260 

Luminis aeterni sponsam, genitamque cientes. 
Silv. Et vos quid, pueri, plaudunt dum gutture 

cygni ? 


in Heaven known, who Violante wast." 
The raiment that thou seest she gave me then. 
Were I to tell the strains the woods then gave, 
the tuneful Shepherds' notes, thou'dst scarce 


The mountain's song resounded through the cave ; 
and fire so flashed, that all things seemed a-glow; 
and scattered from above fell roseate flowers. 
Sifo. Who is the Virgin? Tell me now, I 

Olym. Jove's gracious Mother She, His 

Daughter eke, 
the Gods' Queen-Mother,Heav'n's Gem,Night's 


Celestial Star, the Shepherds' certain hope, 
their flocks' sure guard, their wish'd-for rest from 


Fauns Her adore, and nymphs ; Apollo great 
with lute exalts Her praise, and owns Her Queen. 
She, worshipful, upon the Father's throne, 
on right-hand of the Son, full brightly shines. 
Her look the woods and mountains, hills and 


makes glad. Too fair is She. About Her fly 
white swan-like bands ; as Mother hail they Her, 
as Spouse and Daughter of Eternal Light ! 
Silv. And what do ye, while thus the swans 

acclaim ? 


O/ym. Nos pueri legimus flores, factisque 


Cingimus intonsos crines, laetisque choreis 
Ambimus silvam, fontes, rivosque sonoros. 265 
Et, mediis herbis ludentes, vocibus altis 
Parthenu placidae meritos cantamus honores 
Et geniti laudes pariter. Quis gaudia silvas 
Enumerare queat ? Quis verbis pandere ? Nemo ! 
Induat ut volucres pennas, quibus alta volatu 
Expetat et videat, opus est ; sunt cetera frustra. 

Silv. Sunt optanda quidem, sed quis mihi 
Daedalus usquam 272 

Qui tribuat pennas agiles, nectatque lacertis, 
Ostendatque viam facilem, doceatque volatum ? 

Oly m. Pascefamem fratris, lactis da pocula fessis, 
Adsis detentis, et nudos contege, lapsos 276 
Erige dum possis, pateatque forensibus antrum ; 
Hsec aquilas volucres prsestabunt munera pennas 
Atque, Deo monstrante viam, volitabis in altum. 

Sih. Quo tendis ? quo, nata, fugis, miserum- 
que parentem 280 

Implicitum linquis lacrimis ? Heu cessit in auras 
/Ethereas, traxitque simul, quos duxit, odores. 
In mortem lacrimis ibo, ducamque senectam. 
Vos pueri vitulos in pascua pellite ; surgit 
Lucifer, et mediis jam sol emittitur umbris. 285 


O/ym. We youths cull flowers ; and, with the 

wreaths we make, 

our unshorn locks we crown. With dances glad 
we circle woods and founts and sounding brooks ; 
and, sporting 'mid the grasses, with loud voice 
we chant due praises of the gentle Maid ; 
and eke the Son we laud. The wood's delights 
who can recount ? Who tell in words ? Not one ! 
First must he put on wings, as bird, by flight 
to seek and see the heights ; else all is vain. 
Silv. 'Twere to be wished ! But who, as 


will give me agile wings, and bind them on, 
show me the easy way, and teach me flight ? 

O/ym. Thy brother feed, give to the weary milk, 
to prisoners alms ; the naked clothe, the fallen 
raise, whilst thou canst ; take strangers to thy 


Such offices will give thee eagle's wings ; 
and, God thy guide, thou wilt to Heaven fly. 

Silv. Whither, my daughter, whither fleest thou, 
leaving thy father tearful ? Ah, she passed 
to upper air, and drew the scents she brought. 
With tears my life I'll dree, and fare to death. 
Boys, drive the calves afield ! Lo, Phosphor 

and Sol emerges now from misty shades. 





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Pearl: an English poem, of the 14th 
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